FNS> Vol.5 No.14, August 2014

Alteration of Taste Acuity in Pediatric Cancer Patients after Treatment Completion: A Cross-Sectional Study Using a Filter-Paper Disc Method

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ABSTRACT

Taste acuity of adult patients undergoing cancer treatment has been well investigated; however, studies of taste acuity after completion of cancer treatment are limited, particularly in children. This study aimed to assess taste acuity in pediatric cancer patients after treatment completion. Seventy-three patients who had completed cancer treatment (median age, 13 years; range, 7 - 18 years) and had not received any further treatment for at least 6 months were enrolled. Eighty-one healthy children (median age, 10 years; range, 8 - 19 years) served as controls. We determined the thresholds for four tastes (sweet, salty, sour, and bitter) using the filter-paper disc method. There was no significant difference in the thresholds of taste acuity for the four test solutions between the patient and control groups. The duration since treatment completion (<5 years vs. ≥5 years) had no significant impact on taste acuity for the four test solutions. The threshold for tasting salt was significantly higher in the group that had received chemotherapy + radiation and/or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation than that in the group that had received chemotherapy-only. Our results indicated that taste acuity after treatment completion in pediatric cancer patients was the same as that in healthy children. However, some treatment modalities were correlated with an impaired ability to taste salt. Gustatory test results should be considered while deciding nutritional support modalities after treatment completion in pediatric cancer patients.

Cite this paper

Nagai, A. , Kubota, M. , Adachi, S. , Watanabe, K. and Takeshita, Y. (2014) Alteration of Taste Acuity in Pediatric Cancer Patients after Treatment Completion: A Cross-Sectional Study Using a Filter-Paper Disc Method. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 5, 1440-1446. doi: 10.4236/fns.2014.514157.

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