Impact of oral mucositis on short-term clinical outcomes in paediatric and adolescent patients undergoing chemotherapy.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to determine the burden of the peak severity of oral mucositis and severity over time on selected clinical outcomes in paediatric and adolescent patients receiving chemotherapy. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A multicentre study enrolled 140 patients between the ages of 6 and 18 years, who had been treated with chemotherapy and completed the self-report Mouth and Throat Soreness-related questions of the Oral Mucositis Daily Questionnaire for 14 days. Clinical data were collected from patients' medical records during the first 14 days after starting chemotherapy. RESULTS: Forty-one percent developed oral mucositis. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that oral mucositis was significantly associated with an increased loss of baseline body weight, after controlling for nausea/vomiting (β = 0.34, p = 0.002). Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that severe mucositis was significantly associated with a higher probability of fluid replacement, after controlling for nausea/vomiting (adjusted OR = 12.8; 95 % CI = 2.7-61.0; p = 0.001). In addition, severe mucositis was significantly associated with a higher probability of fever, after controlling for neutropoenia (adjusted OR = 5.4; 95 % CI = 1.8-15.4; p = 0.002). No difference was observed for oral or systemic infections among the subgroups. About 5 % of the patients with oral mucositis had delays in chemotherapy (≤7 days). None of the patients had dose modification or unplanned hospitalization due to oral mucositis. The associations of peak severity and overall oral mucositis with adverse clinical outcomes in paediatric and adolescent patients were equivalent. CONCLUSION: Oral mucositis is associated with negative effects on clinical outcomes.