Comparative Study
Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Randomized clinical trial of botulinum toxin plus glyceryl trinitrate vs. botulinum toxin alone for medically resistant chronic anal fissure: overall poor healing rates.

PURPOSE: This study was designed to assess whether addition of glyceryl trinitrate to botulinum toxin improves the healing rate of glyceryl trinitrate-resistant fissures over that achieved with botulinum toxin alone.

METHODS: Patients were randomized between botulinum toxin plus glyceryl trinitrate (Group A) and botulinum toxin plus placebo paste (Group B). Patients were seen at baseline, four and eight weeks, and six months. The primary end point was fissure healing at eight weeks. Secondary end points were symptomatic relief, need for surgery, side effects, and reduction in maximum resting and squeeze pressures.

RESULTS: Thirty patients were randomized. Two-thirds of patients had maximum anal resting pressures below or within the normal range at entry to the study. Healing rates in both treatment groups were disappointing. There was a nonsignificant trend to better outcomes in Group A compared with Group B in terms of fissure healing (47 vs. 27 percent), symptomatic improvement (87 vs. 67 percent), and resort to surgery (27 vs. 47 percent).

CONCLUSIONS: There is some evidence to suggest that combining glyceryl trinitrate with botulinum toxin is superior to the use of botulinum toxin alone for glyceryl trinitrate-resistant anal fissure. The poor healing rate may reflect the fact that many of the patients did not have significant anal spasm at trial entry.

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