Efficacy Oral Glutamine to Prevent Oral Mucositis and Reduce Hospital Costs During Chemotherapy in Children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Document Type : Research Articles


Department of Child Health, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Airlangga, Dr. Soetomo General Academic Hospital, Surabaya, Indonesia.


Objective: To investigate the use of glutamine administered orally during Methotrexate chemotherapy to prevent oral mucositis and reduce hospital costs in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Methods: Twenty-four children received oral glutamine (400 mg/kg body weight per day) and twenty four received placebo on days of chemotherapy administration and for at least 14 additional days. Oral mucositis  was graded daily at each day of treatment till completion of therapy. The study groups were compared for the oral mucositis development using the WHO scale. Results: Oral mucositis occurred in 4.2 % of the glutamine group and 62.5% in the placebo group. The use of glutamine was directly associated with prevention of oral mucositis than placebo (OR 0,026; 95% CI: 0,003-0,228). The duration of length hospital stay was lower in the glutamine group than in the placebo group ((8 vs 12 days); p = 0,005). Hospital cost per day for glutamine group was 40 USD per day while placebo group was 48 USD per day. Conclusions: There was significant difference in the prevention of oral mucositis by oral glutamine vs placebo. The hospital cost for glutamine supplementation was lower than control group.


Main Subjects