Endoluminal formalin application for haemorrhagic radiation proctitis

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Radiation proctitis is a common complication following radiation therapy for pelvic malignancies. This is associated with significant morbidity which adversely affects the quality of life. Local application of formalin has been used effectively in the treatment of radiation proctitis.


Thirty patients with haemorrhagic radiation proctitis who underwent endoluminal application of 4% formalin between January 1998 to October 2002 were followed up prospectively to assess the efficacy of the treatment.


The follow up ranged from 5 to 36 months (mean 18.1 months). Nineteen (63.3%) patients had complete response to formalin application while 7 (23.3%) patients had partial response. There were 4 (13.3%) failures. No procedure related complication was observed.


Local application of formalin is a simple, safe, inexpensive and fairly effective outpatient treatment modality for chronic radiation proctitis.

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