Topical glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) ointment is safe and effective in decreasing discomfort associated with transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS)-guided biopsy of the prostate, researchers conclude.


John E. McCabe, MD, and his colleagues at Leighton Hospital in Crewe, UK, randomized 148 men (mean age 67 years) have their first TRUS-guided prostatic biopsy to receive either 0.2% GTN ointment or placebo 10 minutes before biopsy. All men had a biopsy preceded by an injection with 10 mL of 1% lidocaine.

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A 10-point visual analogue score was used to record “overall discomfort due to the presence of the probe,” the biopsy itself, and pain after the procedure.


Compared with the placebo group, the GTN group had significantly lower mean pain scores during probe insertion and for the whole procedure, with the reduction in pain perception most pronounced in men younger than 60 years.


Findings were published in BJU International (2007:100:536-539).