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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Randomized trial of a chlorhexidine mouthwash for alleviation of radiation-induced mucositis.

PURPOSE: To determine whether a chlorhexidine mouthwash could alleviate radiation-induced oral mucositis. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients scheduled to receive radiation therapy to include greater than one third of the oral cavity mucosa were selected for study. Following stratification, they were randomized in a double-blind manner to receive a chlorhexidine mouthwash or a placebo mouthwash. Both groups were then similarly evaluated for mucositis and mouthwash toxicity. RESULTS: Twenty-five patients were randomized to receive the chlorhexidine mouthwash, while 27 received the placebo mouthwash. Treatment arms were well balanced. There was a trend for more mucositis and there was substantially more toxicity (eg, mouthwash-induced discomfort, taste alteration, and teeth staining) on the chlorhexidine arm. CONCLUSION: In contrast to the prestudy hypothesis that a chlorhexidine mouthwash might provide benefit for patients receiving radiation therapy to the oral mucosa, this study provides strong evidence suggesting that a chlorhexidine mouthwash is detrimental in this clinical situation.[1]


  1. Randomized trial of a chlorhexidine mouthwash for alleviation of radiation-induced mucositis. Foote, R.L., Loprinzi, C.L., Frank, A.R., O'Fallon, J.R., Gulavita, S., Tewfik, H.H., Ryan, M.A., Earle, J.M., Novotny, P. J. Clin. Oncol. (1994) [Pubmed]
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