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

34 Citations (Scopus)
49 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objective: To produce a best evidence synthesis of the clinical effects of topical glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) in the treatment of tendinopathies. Design: 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. Methods: 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. Results: 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 (<8 weeks; poor evidence). Significant improvements in midterm outcomes for treatment with GTN versus placebo included the following: patient satisfaction (strong evidence); chances of being asymptomatic with activities of daily living (strong evidence); range of movement (moderate evidence); strength (moderate evidence); pain (at night and with activity; poor evidence) and local tenderness (poor evidence). Patients treated with topical GTN reported a higher incidence of headaches than those who received placebo (moderate evidence). 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
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume53
Issue number4
Early online date9 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • overuse injury
  • tendinopathy
  • tendinosis
  • tendon
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Topical glyceryl trinitrate for the treatment of tendinopathies: a systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this