COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen versus topical salicylic acid application for cutaneous warts in primary care: randomized controlled trial

Sjoerd C Bruggink, Jacobijn Gussekloo, Marjolein Y Berger, Krista Zaaijer, Willem J J Assendelft, Margot W M de Waal, Jan Nico Bouwes Bavinck, Bart W Koes, Just A H Eekhof
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal, Journal de L'Association Medicale Canadienne 2010 October 19, 182 (15): 1624-30
20837684

BACKGROUND: Cryotherapy is widely used for the treatment of cutaneous warts in primary care. However, evidence favours salicylic acid application. We compared the effectiveness of these treatments as well as a wait-and-see approach.

METHODS: Consecutive patients with new cutaneous warts were recruited in 30 primary care practices in the Netherlands between May 1, 2006, and Jan. 26, 2007. We randomly allocated eligible patients to one of three groups: cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen every two weeks, self-application of salicylic acid daily or a wait-and-see approach. The primary outcome was the proportion of participants whose warts were all cured at 13 weeks. Analysis was on an intention-to-treat basis. Secondary outcomes included treatment adherence, side effects and treatment satisfaction. Research nurses assessed outcomes during home visits at 4, 13 and 26 weeks.

RESULTS: Of the 250 participants (age 4 to 79 years), 240 were included in the analysis at 13 weeks (loss to follow-up 4%). Cure rates were 39% (95% confidence interval [CI] 29%-51%) in the cryotherapy group, 24% (95% CI 16%-35%) in the salicylic acid group and 16% (95% CI 9.5%-25%) in the wait-and-see group. Differences in effectiveness were most pronounced among participants with common warts (n = 116): cure rates were 49% (95% CI 34%-64%) in the cryotherapy group, 15% (95% CI 7%-30%) in the salicylic acid group and 8% (95% CI 3%-21%) in the wait-and-see group. Cure rates among the participants with plantar warts (n = 124) did not differ significantly between treatment groups.

INTERPRETATION: For common warts, cryotherapy was the most effective therapy in primary care. For plantar warts, we found no clinically relevant difference in effectiveness between cryotherapy, topical application of salicylic acid or a wait-and-see approach after 13 weeks. (ClinicalTrial.gov registration no. ISRCTN42730629).

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
20837684
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"