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Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 1992 Dec;6(6):641-9.

The effect of transdermal nitroglycerin on exercise tolerance in relation to patch application time--a meta-analysis.

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Department of Cardiology, Oslo University Hospital UllevÄl, Norway.


Disagreeing results have been reported in the many studies on continuous treatment with nitroglycerin patches. The effects on exercise tolerance are partly studied at the end of a 24-hour application period, and partly examined only a few hours after patch renewal. The present meta-analysis estimates the overall efficacy of nitroglycerin patches in trials with and without concomitant antianginal therapy, and investigates if the treatment effect depends on the patch application time. A computed search (MEDLINE) identified 110 publications, of which 17 trials on nitrate patch monotherapy and six trials on combined therapy satisfied the inclusion criteria. Data on "exercise duration" and "ST-segment depression" were converted to a standardized treatment effect size d, and pooled to an overall treatment effect size d+. In tests 2-5 hours after patch renewal, moderate but significant effects of nitrate monotherapy were observed; d+ was 1.20 with regard to "ST-segment depression" and 0.39 with regard to "exercise duration" (both p < 0.0001). In contrast, 24 hours after patch application, the values for d+ were 0.09 (not significant) and 0.36 (p < 0.01), respectively. When adding the results from the six trials on combined therapy, d+ with regard to "exercise duration" was reduced to 0.28 (p < 0.0001) 2-5 hours after renewal and to 0.17 (p = 0.04) after 24 hours. Thus, the efficacy of continuous nitroglycerin patch treatment is moderate but evident during exercise tests 2-5 hours after patch renewal; however, it is reduced after 24 hours of patch application.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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