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Aten Primaria. 2001 Oct 31;28(7):452-5.

[Transdermal nitroglycerin versus corticosteroid infiltration for rotator cuff tendinitis].

[Article in Spanish]

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Sandra Pons Cuevas, 08800 Vilanova i la Geltru, Barcelona, Spain.



To compare transdermal nitroglycerin (NTG) and corticosteroid infiltration in patients with rotator cuff tendinitis (RCT).


Experimental, randomized controlled study.


Semirural basic health area in the Garraf region of Barcelona province, Spain, with a population of public health service users of 12000.


Patients diagnosed as having RCT of less than 6 weeks' evolution who had not responded to treatment with oral nonsteroid antiinflammatory drugs. The patients were distributed randomly into two groups: a) group A, local infiltration via a posterior approach with a depot corticosteroid and local anesthesia, and b) group B, treated for 3 days with a 5-mg NTC patch.


Age, sex, pain (measured with an analog visual scale) and adverse events. In patients who showed a partial response, treatment was repeated up to 3 times at 15-day intervals. Pain was tested after 7-10 days of treatment. Complete improvement was considered a reduction in pain of more than 5 points on the analog visual scale; partial improvement was considered a reduction of 3-5 points, and treatment failure was recorded when there was no improvement in pain or when there was a decrease of less than 3 points.


A total of 48 patients were included; 33 (69%) were women and 15 (31%) were men. Mean age was 61 years. In group A, complete improvement was seen in 19 patients and partial improvement in 3; treatment failed in 2 patients. In group B complete improvement was seen in 5 patients, partial improvement in 5, and failure of treatment in 14. The difference between groups was statistically significant. Adverse events were mild pain at the injection site in 4 patients from group A, and headache in 15 patients from group B, 8 of whom abandoned treatment for this reason.


Treatment with NTG is not a clear alternative to infiltration of corticosteroids in patients with RCT, because of its lack of effectiveness and because of the greater number of patients who had adverse events that lead them to abandon treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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