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Br J Surg. 2010 Sep;97(9):1340-7. doi: 10.1002/bjs.7121.

Randomized clinical trial of metronidazole ointment versus placebo in perianal Crohn's disease.

Author information

1
Physiology Unit, St Mark's Hospital, Harrow, UK. yazmaeda@googlemail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The potential for metronidazole 10 per cent ointment to exert therapeutic benefit in perianal Crohn's disease, while minimizing the adverse effects found with oral metronidazole, was evaluated in a randomized placebo-controlled study.

METHODS:

Subjects with perianal Crohn's disease were randomized to metronidazole 10 per cent ointment, 0.7 g applied perianally three times daily, or placebo ointment. The Perianal Crohn's Disease Activity Index (PCDAI) was scored at baseline and after 4 weeks of treatment. Perianal pain was assessed on a visual analogue scale.

RESULTS:

Seventy-four subjects (33 metronidazole, 41 placebo) were evaluated. The mean(s.e.m.) reduction in PCDAI score at 4 weeks was 2.4(0.5) in the metronidazole group and 2.2(0.4) in the placebo group (P = 0.660). More subjects in the metronidazole group than the placebo group showed a reduction in PCDAI score of at least 5 points (10 of 27 versus 4 of 34; P = 0.031). Perianal discharge was reduced significantly in metronidazole-treated subjects (P = 0.012). A greater reduction in perianal pain was seen in the metronidazole group, which approached statistical significance (P = 0.059). No serious adverse events were reported.

CONCLUSION:

Metronidazole 10 per cent ointment was not effective in the reduction of PDCAI score, but some secondary outcomes showed improvement suggestive of a treatment effect. It is well tolerated, with minimal adverse effects, and has potential as treatment for pain and discharge associated with perianal Crohn's disease.

REGISTRATION NUMBER:

NCT00509639 (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov).

PMID:
20632322
DOI:
10.1002/bjs.7121
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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