Radiation proctitis

Radiation proctitis
Endoscopic image of radiation proctitis before and after therapy with argon plasma coagulation.
Classification and external resources
Specialty gastroenterology
ICD-10 K62.7
ICD-9-CM 558.1

Radiation proctitis (and the related radiation colitis) is inflammation and damage to the lower parts of the colon after exposure to x-rays or other ionizing radiation as a part of radiation therapy.[1] Radiation proctitis most commonly occurs after treatment for cancers such as cervical cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer. Radiation proctitis involves the lower intestine, primarily the sigmoid colon and the rectum and is part of the conditions known as pelvic radiation disease and radiation enteropathy.[2]


Radiation proctitis can occur at two times after treatment:


Symptoms such as diarrhea and painful defecation need to be systematically investigated and the underlying causes each carefully treated. Complications such as obstruction and fistulae may require surgery. Several other methods have been studied in attempts to lessen the effects of radiation proctitis. These include sucralfate, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, corticosteroids, metronidazole, argon plasma coagulation, radiofrequency ablation and formalin irrigation.[5][1][2]


  1. 1 2 3 4 Babb RR (1996). "Radiation proctitis: a review". Am. J. Gastroenterol. 91 (7): 1309–11. PMID 8677984.
  2. 1 2 3 Fuccio L, Guido A, Andreyev HJ (2012). "Management of intestinal complications in patients with pelvic radiation disease". Clin. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 10 (12): 1326–1334.e4. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2012.07.017. PMID 22858731.
  3. Vernia P, Fracasso PL, Casale V, et al. (October 2000). "Topical butyrate for acute radiation proctitis: randomised, crossover trial". Lancet. 356 (9237): 1232–1235. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(00)02787-2. PMID 11072942.
  4. Hille A, Herrmann MK, Kertesz T, et al. (December 2008). "Sodium butyrate enemas in the treatment of acute radiation-induced proctitis in patients with prostate cancer and the impact on late proctitis. A prospective evaluation". Strahlenther Onkol. 184 (12): 686–692. doi:10.1007/s00066-008-1896-1. PMID 19107351.
  5. Ma TH, Yuan ZX, Zhong QH, Wang HM, Qin QY, Chen XX, Wang JP, Wang L (2015). "Formalin irrigation for hemorrhagic chronic radiation proctitis". World J. Gastroenterol. 21 (12): 3593–8. doi:10.3748/wjg.v21.i12.3593. PMC 4375582Freely accessible. PMID 25834325.
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