Botulinum Neurotoxin A in the Treatment of Pharyngocutaneous Fistula after Salvage Surgery in Head and Neck Cancer Patients: Our Preliminary Results

Maria Raffaella Marchese, Tiziana Di Cesare, Eugenio De Corso, Martina Petracca, Giuseppe Oliveto, Giovanni Almadori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To analyze the effect of intraparotid injection of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT-A) on salivary production and the course of pharyngocutaneous fistula (PCF) in post-radiation therapy salvage surgery. Methods: A total of 13 patients who had undergone total laryngectomy or pharyngolaryngectomy were treated with BoNT-A to both parotid glands, within three days from PCF onset. The salivary flow was evaluated using a subjective rating scale as the percentage of normal function from 0% (no saliva) to 100% (normal saliva flow), before injection, every day for 2 weeks, and once a week for three months. PCFs were monitored daily. Results: Spontaneous closure of PCF occurred in 7/13 (53.84%) cases 13.6 days (range: 7-18) after treatment; 6/13 (46.16%) patients needed revision surgery. Salivary flow significantly decreased in all patients seven days after injection (from 67.2% to 36.4%; p < 0.05). Patients who had undergone either conservative or surgical treatment did not differ in salivary flow before injection, whereas the mean percentages of salivary flow calculated at each time point after injection were different (p < 0.05). Conclusions: BoNT-A contributed to the closure of the fistula in most of our cases. The subjective perception of salivary flow predicted the closure of PCF. The mean time to closure may contribute to establishing the timing of PCF surgical treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7099-7105
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Oncology
Volume29
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • botulinum neurotoxin A
  • pharyngocutaneous fistula
  • total laryngectomy
  • salvage surgery
  • pharyngolaryngectomy

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