Topical glyceryl trinitrate for the treatment of tendinopathies: a systematic review

Dimitris Challoumas, Paul Kirwan, Dmytro Borysov, Chris Clifford, Michael McLean, Neal Millar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


To produce a best evidence synthesis of the clinical effects of topical glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) in the treatment of tendinopathies.

A systematic review of published randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of the use of GTN in patients with tendinopathy.

Data sources
MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus and CINAHL from database inception to January 2018.

We examined RCTs comparing the effects of topical GTN with either placebo or other treatments on tendinopathy. Overall quality of each eligible study was determined based on a combined assessment of internal validity, external validity and precision. The level of evidence for each assessed parameter was rated based on the system by van Tulder et al.

A total of 10 eligible RCTs were identified including patients with tendinopathy of the rotator cuff (n=4), wrist extensors (n=3), Achilles (n=2) and patellar (n=1) tendons. For all tendinopathies, improvements in pain were significant when comparing GTN versus placebo in the short term (
Conclusions and relevance
Treatment of tendinopathies with topical GTN for up to 6 months appears to be superior to placebo and may therefore be a useful adjunct to the treating healthcare professions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-262
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Early online date9 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2019


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