Open Access Articles- Top Results for Radiation proctitis

Radiation proctitis

Radiation proctitis
File:Radiation proctitis APC.jpg
Endoscopic image of radiation proctitis before and after therapy with argon plasma coagulation.
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 K62.7
ICD-9 558.1
NCI Radiation proctitis
Patient UK Radiation proctitis

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. 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.


Radiation proctitis can occur at two times after treatment:

  • Acute radiation proctitis — symptoms occur in the first few weeks after therapy. These symptoms include diarrhea and the urgent need to defecate, often with pain while doing so (tenesmus). Acute radiation proctitis usually resolves without treatment after several months, but symptoms may improve with butyrate enemas.[1][2] This acute phase is due to direct damage of the lining (epithelium) of the colon.


  1. Vernia P; Fracasso PL; Casale V et al. (October 2000). "Topical butyrate for acute radiation proctitis: randomised, crossover trial". Lancet 356 (9237): 1232–1235. PMID 11072942. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(00)02787-2. 
  2. 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. PMID 19107351. doi:10.1007/s00066-008-1896-1. 


  • Babb RR (1996). "Radiation proctitis: a review". Am. J. Gastroenterol. 91 (7): 1309–11. PMID 8677984.