Babu Zachariah, MD | Authors

Radiation-Induced Enteritis: Incidence, Mechanisms, and Management

September 01, 2002

Diarrhea is a common problem in patients receiving pelvic irradiation with concurrent chemotherapy. Virtually all patients develop diarrhea of varying severity during the course of the treatment. The incidence and severity of diarrhea vary with the chemotherapy type and dose, radiotherapy field size, daily fraction size, and total dose of radiation given. Diarrhea (any grade) occurs in 30% to 87% of patients receiving chemotherapy and in 20% to 49% of patients receiving pelvic radiotherapy. The incidence of severe and life-threatening (grade 3/4) diarrhea ranges from 20% to 40% in patients receiving combined chemoradiotherapy.