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Microbial colonization in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation-induced oral mucositis: A systematic review

Nandhini Subramaniam, Arvind Muthukrishnan


Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a treatment modality for patients with hematological malignancy. Oral mucositis is the most serious complication in these group of patients. Among various risk factors for oral mucositis, oral microbial colonization is considered the most important factor which greatly affects the quality of life in these patients. A systematic review was carried out to assess the colonization of microbes in individuals who developed oral mucositis following to HSCT. The literature study was done using PubMed, Medline, Google Scholar, Cochrane databases with keywords of oral mucositis, bacteria, fungi, viruses, hematologic malignancy, and HSCT, from the January 1989 to June 2017. Furthermore, hand searches were taken from the back references for assessing microbial colonization in oral mucositis following HSCT. Data extraction done from the included studies. The study quality was assessed using Ottawa-Newcastle scale. Four studies investigating microbial colonization in oral mucositis following HSCT were included. The available literature shows no clear pattern or association between oral mucositis and oral microflora in patients undergoing HSCT as a treatment modality for various hematological malignancies. Future research is needed to determine the relationship between the nature of oral microflora and its role in the development of mucositis subsequent to HSCT therapy. Data from such work would direct toward the development and testing of selective antimicrobial therapies for the prevention and management of mucositis subsequent to HSCT.

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