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Fractionated irradiation of salivary glands: loss and protection of function
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Cardiology.
1995 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Radiotherapy of malignancies in the head and neck often involves the major and minor salivary glands in the radiation field. Adverse effects, such as dry mouth symptoms, are common after such therapy. The aim of this thesis was to study longitudinal effects of fractionated irradiation to the head and neck on salivary gland function in man and in the rat and to test radioprotection from antioxidant vitamins (retinol, a-tocopherol and ^-carotene).

A sharp decrease in parotid saliva flow rate was seen after one week of irradiation in cancer patients, but in some patients recovery was seen two months after completed treatment. Loss and recovery of salivary gland function were dependent on the total dose given. Irradiation with doses of >65 Gy to the parotid glands led to permanent loss of function in the majority of parotid glands, while recovery could be seen after irradiation with doses of <52 Gy. Concentrations of some proteins and electrolytes in saliva were increased during irradiation but no changes remained 18 months after radiotherapy. However, large inter-individual differences were seen.

The irradiation effects observed in rats did not greatly differ from those seen in humans, but no recovery of salivary gland function was seen. On the one hand the impairments of saliva flow and composition w ere dose and time dependent, but on the other hand the response pattem differed between salivary components. Morphological alterations were not seen in the rat salivary' glands after tw'O or five weeks but 26 weeks after irradiation. No single model seems to be optimal for studying all parameters. Therefore, to study effects on salivary glands after irradiation the rat model must be adjusted to meet the questions addressed. Supplementation with vitamin A provided no radioprotection, whereas it w'as found that supplementation with a-tocopherol (3.4 mg/day) and ß-carotene (6 mg/day) during irradiation reduced the degree of inflammation and partly preserved salivary gland function. It did not, however, lead to morphometrically detectable differences in proportions of acinar or ductal cells or stroma.Keywords: Irradiation, salivary glands, saliva composition, antioxidants

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1995. , 82 p.
Umeå University odontological dissertations, ISSN 0345-7532 ; 52
Keyword [en]
Irradiation, salivary glands, saliva composition, antioxidants, radioprotection
National Category
Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-100594ISBN: 91-7191-047-6OAI: diva2:792989
Public defence
1995-06-02, Föreläsningssal B, Tandläkarhögskolan 9 tr, NUS, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 09:00

S. 1-82: sammanfattning, s. 85-152: 6 uppsatser

Available from: 2015-03-16 Created: 2015-03-04 Last updated: 2015-04-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Rat salivary gland function after fractionated irradiation.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Rat salivary gland function after fractionated irradiation.
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1997 (English)In: Acta Oncologica, ISSN 0284-186X, Vol. 36, no 2, 191-198 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to investigate longitudinal effects of fractionated irradiation, with various total doses, on salivary gland function in the rat. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were irradiated with 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 Gy per day on five consecutive days. Irradiation was given to the head and neck region. Whole saliva was collected before and 2, 15 and 26 weeks after irradiation. In general the effects of irradiation on salivary gland function were found to be related to dose and time after exposure. Secretion rates were significantly decreased two weeks after irradiation with doses of 30 Gy or higher, after 15 weeks with 25 Gy or higher, and after 26 weeks with 20 Gy or higher. Response patterns to irradiation differed between the salivary constituents. Thus, the conclusions from this study are that early and late effects display different patterns and that the model used to study variations in salivary gland function after fractionated irradiation must be adjusted to the question addressed.

urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-8954 (URN)9140437 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2008-02-22 Created: 2008-02-22 Last updated: 2015-03-16Bibliographically approved
2. Can alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene supplementation reduce adverse radiation effects on salivary glands?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Can alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene supplementation reduce adverse radiation effects on salivary glands?
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1995 (English)In: European Journal of Cancer, ISSN 0959-8049, Vol. 31A, no 13-14, 2347-2353 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this study, we evaluated whether supplementation with antioxidant vitamins can reduce the adverse effects of irradiation on the salivary glands in the rat. Four groups of adult Sprague-Dawley rats were given a basic diet providing 0.6 mg alpha-tocopherol and no beta-carotene per day. In two groups the basic diet was supplemented with 3.4 mg alpha-tocopherol and 6 mg beta-carotene per day from 14 days before irradiation until 12 days after completed irradiation. One group of rats given basic diet and one group given supplemented diet were irradiated with 7 Gy daily for five consecutive days. Isoproterenol and pilocarpine-stimulated whole saliva was collected from all rats 2, 4 and 26 weeks after irradiation. Vitamin-supplemented irradiated rats had higher secretion rates on all three occasions compared with those of irradiated rats given basic diet. The changes in saliva composition seen in irradiated rats were less accentuated in vitamin-supplemented, irradiated rats. The proportions of acinar cells were significantly decreased both in parotid and submandibular glands 26 weeks after irradiation. Supplementation with alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene did not alter the morphology of the glands.

urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-9254 (URN)8652268 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2008-03-13 Created: 2008-03-13 Last updated: 2015-03-16Bibliographically approved

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