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Radiation Enteritis

Kinga Kiszko, DO, Maria G. Quinteros Flores, MD and Danielle Turrin, DO Reviewed 06/2018
 


BASICS

  • Radiation enteritis (RE) is an inflammatory injury to the large and small intestines resulting from radiation therapy (RT).

  • Many cancer patients receive RT as part of their treatment. As a resul...

DIAGNOSIS

  • All patients with a history of RT are at risk. Although the diagnosis can usually be made based on clinical history, it is important to rule out other causes.

  • Many do not seek medical care fo...

TREATMENT

  • Evidence-based treatment of RE is limited.

  • Acute RE: Treat symptomatically (diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain).

  • Spontaneous resolution is common in cases of acute RE.

  • Chronic RE: There continu...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

Depression is common and may contribute to malnutrition. Use of antidepressants may offer benefit. Emotional support at follow-up visits is important. 

DIET

  • Malnutr...

REFERENCES

1
Harb AH, Abou Fadel C, Sharara AI. Radiation enteritis. Curr Gastroenterol Rep.  2014;16(5):383. [View Abstract on OvidMedline]
2
Shadad AK, Sullivan FJ, Martin JD, et al. Gastrointesti...

ADDITIONAL READING

Samuelian JM, Callister MD, Ashman JB, et al. Reduced acute bowel toxicity in patients treated with intensity-modulated radiotherapy for rectal cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys....

CODES

ICD10

K52.0 Gastroenteritis and colitis due to radiation 

ICD9

558.1 Gastroenteritis and colitis due to radiation 

SNOMED

  • 73817000 Enteritis due to radiation (disorder)

  • 235707005 Acute radiation enter...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Radiation injury to the intestinal tract is common and can occur at any time (even decades) after RT.

  • Delayed diagnosis is common because medications, advanced/ongoing malignancy, and o...

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