monitor the complete blood count of patients undergoing radiation therapy. While some advocate
weekly examination of the peripheral blood, others deem it unnecessary. Since reduction in the
number of blood cells has considerable effect on the treatment outcome, this study evaluates the
effect of pelvic radiation therapy on the number of blood cells.
Methods and Materials: This study designed as a cohort study of pre- and post-treatment
evaluation. After excluding patients who didn’t complete treatment or had problem in first blood
count, 51 patients who had received radiation therapy in pelvis area selected, evaluated by taking a
blood sample before and 24-48 hours after completion of the radiation course, thus comparing the
mean count of the circulating blood cells before and after therapy. The average of hemoglobin and
white blood cell count compared by t-test and after stratified patients according to dose and volume
to “low”, “moderate” and “high” groups, averages compared by ANOVA.
Results: Fifty-one patients included 25 male and 26 female evaluated. The mean of white blood
cells, red blood cells and platelets decreased. However, a significant difference in white and red
blood cells was found.
Conclusions: In despite of significance difference between means of red and white blood cells,
there is no need for blood transfusion or increase risk of infection due to this reduction, so this
reduction isn’t clinically significant. It is recommended that weekly monitoring of CBC in patients
with normal CBC before radiotherapy is non necessary.
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