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Indian J Surg. 2011 Dec;73(6):427-31. doi: 10.1007/s12262-011-0340-4. Epub 2011 Oct 18.

Comparison of observational and controlled clinical trials of diltiazem in the treatment of chronic anal fissure.

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Department of Pharmacology and General Surgery, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India ; Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.


Diltiazem has been extensively studied in the treatment of chronic anal fissures, but efficacy in clinical practice is not fully established. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of topical application diltiazem in observational studies as well as in controlled clinical trials in the treatment of chronic anal fissures. A systematic literature search was carried out from 1966 to 31 December, 2007 on PubMed, Medline, Embase and Cochrane database, using the appropriate search words. We found six observational studies with 392 patients and five controlled clinical trials with 289 patients in which topical diltiazem treatment was given. Efficacy was found to be very high in observational studies (56.88%), whereas it was found to be modest in controlled clinical trials (29.41%). In observational studies, most of the patients reported complete healing of fissures within 6-12 weeks, whereas in controlled trials healing was reported within 8 weeks, with tolerable adverse effects of diltiazem. On the basis of the above studies, it can be concluded that topical application of diltiazem is useful in the treatment of chronic anal fissure, but to fully establish its efficacy, larger prospective double-blind study is required in the near future.


Chronic anal fissure; Clinical trial; Diltiazem

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