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Gastrointestinal radiation injury: Pathophysiology, prevention, and treatment

CPD Hours



Radiology, imaging and associated treatments
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Gastrointestinal radiation injury, also known as radiation enteropathy or intestinal radiation toxicity, is damage to the gastrointestinal tract that occurs following radiation therapy. It is a common side effect of cancer treatment, with the potential to cause significant morbidity, limit treatment tolerability, and impair quality of life for survivors.

The following module will outline the pathophysiology, prevention, and treatment of gastrointestinal injury following exposure to radiation therapy. It outlines interventions with supporting evidence, and highlights areas for future research in order to improve patient outcomes.

Learning Objective

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Understand the mechanism of gastrointestinal injury following exposure to radiation therapy
  • Identify the risk factors for gastrointestinal radiation injury
  • Differentiate between acute and chronic conditions
  • Highlight the symptoms associated with gastrointestinal radiation injury
  • Understand symptom grading and differentiation based on the location of radiation therapy
  • Describe technical and biological strategies for injury prevention
  • Understand the value of algorithm based treatments for relief of gastrointestinal symptoms and enhanced quality of life

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