Last reviewed: 28 Sep 2021
Last updated: 12 Aug 2021

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • presence of risk factors
  • erythema or ulceration of oral mucosa
  • oral pain

Other diagnostic factors

  • dietary impairment
  • diarrhoea
  • fever

Risk factors

  • intensive chemotherapy regimens
  • radiotherapy to the oral cavity
  • chemoradiation
  • genetic polymorphisms in drug metabolic enzymes

Diagnostic investigations

Investigations to consider

  • FBC and differential
  • blood cultures
  • superficial smear of lesion for microscopy
  • fungal culture
  • viral culture or polymerase chain reaction (PCR)

Treatment algorithm

Contributors

Authors

Rajesh V. Lalla, DDS, PhD, DABOM

Associate Professor

Associate Dean for Research

Section of Oral Medicine

University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine

Farmington

CT

Disclosures

RVL serves as a consultant for Galera Therapeutics, Ingalfarma, Mundipharma and Sucampo Pharma, and has received research funding from Onxeo, Sucampo Pharma, Galera Therapeutics and Novartis.

Ourania Nicolatou-Galitis, DDS, MSc, DrDent

Professor

Hospital Dentistry

National & Kapodistrian University of Athens

Athens

Greece

Disclosures

ONG has received fees from Angelini pharma to author a review article on oral mucositis. ONG is an author of several references cited in this topic.

Nikolaos Tsoukalas, MD, MSc, PhD

Medical Oncologist

Associate Director

Department of Oncology

401 General Military Hospital

Athens

Greece

Disclosures

NT declares that he has no competing interests.

Acknowledgements

Professor Ourania Nicolatou-Galitis and Dr Nikolaos Tsoukalas would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Eleni Arvanitou, who contributed to the updating of this topic, and Dr Rajesh V. Lalla, a previous contributor.

Disclosures

EA declares that she has no competing interests. RVL serves as a consultant for Galera Therapeutics, Ingalfarma, Mundipharma and Sucampo Pharma, and has received research funding from Onxeo, Sucampo Pharma, Galera Therapeutics, and Novartis.

Peer reviewers

Michael Brennan, DDS, MHS

Associate Chairman and Oral Medicine Residency Director

Department of Oral Medicine

Carolinas Medical Center

Charlotte

NC

Disclosures

MB is an author of a reference cited in this topic. MB is part of the Mucositis Study Group of MASCC/ISOO, and participated in the review of mucositis.

Maria Michelagnoli, MB ChB, MD, FRCPCH

Consultant Pediatric and Adolescent Oncologist

University College London Hospitals

London

UK

Disclosures

MM declares that she has no competing interests.

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