Tongue surface model can predict radiation tongue mucositis due to intensity-modulated radiation therapy for head and neck cancer

A. Musha, K. Fukata, J. I. Saitoh, K. Shirai, T. Abe, T. Mizukami, M. Kawashima, S. Yokoo, K. Chikamatsu, T. Ohno, T. Nakano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Acute radiation tongue mucositis has a profound effect on talking and eating. We examined whether the dose–volume histogram obtained from the tongue surface model correlates with mucositis severity, and whether it is useful for predicting acute radiation tongue mucositis in patients with head and neck cancer treated with intensity-modulated radiation therapy. Thirty-six patients who received intensity-modulated radiation therapy for head and neck cancer were analysed for acute radiation tongue mucositis according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, version 4.0, as well as the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group scoring systems. The corresponding high-dose locations in anatomical sub-regions in the tongue surface model and the development of high-grade acute radiation tongue mucositis were compared. The mucositis sites coincided with the high-dose anatomical sub-regions in the tongue surface model. There was a clear dose–response relationship between the mean dose to the tongue and the acute radiation tongue mucositis Radiation Therapy Oncology Group grade. According to the dose–volume histogram, patients receiving 16.0–73.0 Gy to the tongue were susceptible to grade 2–3 toxicity. The tongue surface model can predict the site and severity of acute radiation tongue mucositis. In future, radiation treatment plans ccould be optimized using this model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-50
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan



  • acute radiation tongue mucositis
  • head and neck cancer
  • intensity modulated radiation therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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