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Randomized clinical trials to determine the role of topical glyceryl trinitrate in peripheral intravenous nutrition. BJS 2003; 90: 804-810.

Published: 4th July 2003

Authors: B. M. Dobbins, J. A. Catton, M. J. Tighe, G. V. Miller, I. G. Martin, M. J. McMahon et al.


The contribution of glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) to prevention of peripheral vein thrombophlebitis (PVT) during peripheral intravenous nutrition delivered by fine‐bore midline intravenous catheter is unclear. The aim of this study was to establish its role.


Two consecutive randomized clinical trials were conducted. In trial 1 patients were randomized to receive standard peripheral intravenous nutrition containing heparin and hydrocortisone with or without the placement of a topical GTN patch (triple therapy or dual therapy). In trial 2 patients were randomized to receive standard peripheral intravenous nutrition with either dual therapy or topical GTN alone (monotherapy).


Dual therapy was as effective as triple therapy in preventing PVT (incidence 10 of 37 versus 11 of 39 patients respectively). Dual therapy reduced the incidence and increased the time to onset of PVT compared with monotherapy (14 of 41 versus 22 of 35 patients respectively, P = 0·012; median 17·3 (95 per cent confidence interval (c.i.) 13·4 to 21·1) versus 8·9 (95 per cent c.i. 6·7 to 11·0) days, P = 0·007).


Use of a topical GTN patch confers no benefit when peripheral intravenous nutrition is delivered via a fine‐bore midline intravenous catheter. Copyright © 2003 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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