PDF: Evaluation of an oral preventive protocol in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia

This study was designed to assess the effectiveness of a preventive oral protocol in children receiving antineoplastic treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) before initiating a larger intervention study.

During a seven month period, fourteen children from two to ten years old with a diagnosis of ALL were evaluated.

Patients with ALL who received a 0.12% chlorhexidine mouth rinse (seven children) were compared to a control group of patients who were not given the same preventive treatment (seven children) as to the occurrence of oral mucosal complications. 

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Children in both groups received daily oral hygiene care, and were examined daily by the pediatric dentistry team until discharge.

A significant decrease in the incidence of oral mucositis and ulceration was observed in the children who received a 0.12% chlorhexidine mouth rinse (p < 0.05 by Fisher's exact test).

The findings obtained in the present trial are encouraging, and suggest that the systematic application of a preventive protocol reduces the incidence of oral complications in children with ALL receiving chemotherapy.