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Effect of Nitroglycerin Ointment on Mastectomy Flap Necrosis

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of British Columbia Identifier:
First received: May 28, 2012
Last updated: September 8, 2014
Last verified: September 2014


Mastectomy flap necrosis (MFN) is a common complication that affects recovery, reconstructive success and aesthetic outcome. Nitroglycerin (NTG) ointment is a potent topical vasodilator that increases local blood flow by dilating arteries and veins without altering the ratio of pre- to post-capillary resistance. There are no studies that evaluate whether the application of NTG ointment in patients undergoing Skin-sparing mastectomy (SSM) or nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM) and immediate reconstruction decreases the rate of mastectomy flap necrosis.


To evaluate if the post-operative application of NTG ointment improve rates of MFN in patients undergoing SSM or NSM with immediate breast reconstruction compared to patients receiving placebo.


In patients undergoing SSM and immediate breast reconstruction there will be a decrease in the rate of MFN in those who receive NTG ointment compared to those who receive placebo.

Condition Intervention
Mastectomy Flap Necrosis
Drug: nitroglycerin ointment
Drug: Polysporin ointment

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Effect of Nitroglycerin Ointment on Mastectomy Flap Necrosis

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of British Columbia:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Mastectomy Flap Necrosis [ Time Frame: 1 month post operative ]

Enrollment: 154
Study Start Date: August 2012
Study Completion Date: June 2014
Primary Completion Date: March 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Placebo Comparator: Polysporin Control
Patients in control group will receive polysporin ointment application. Polysporin ointment will be made to look like Nitroglycerin ointment.
Drug: Polysporin ointment
Polysporin ointment will be applied as the control ointment on the mastectomy flap skin at the end of surgery. A maximum of 7.5cm strip of ointment will be applied to the skin.
Active Comparator: Nitroglycerin
Patients in treatment group will receive nitroglycerin ointment application
Drug: nitroglycerin ointment
Nitroglycerin ointment will be applied to mastectomy skin flaps at the end of surgery. A maximum of 7.5cm strip of 2% Nitroglycerin ointment will be applied (equivalent to a maximal dose of 45mg)


Ages Eligible for Study:   21 Years to 65 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patients who undergo SSM or NSM with immediate alloplastic or autologous breast reconstruction
  • Unilateral and bilateral cases (in bilateral cases only the mastectomy performed by the general surgeon will be included. This will avoid the potential effect of absorption of nitroglycerin from one breast to the other)
  • Patients older than 21 and less than 65

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patient declining inclusion in the study
  • Patient with medical history that precludes the administration of nitroglycerin, i.e. a medical history significant for

    • Acute circulatory failure accompanied by clear hypotension
    • Myocardial insufficiency related to obstruction
    • Use of sildenafil, vardenafil & tadalafil
    • Use of beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, diuretics or phenothiazides
    • Salicylates (ASA)
    • Alteplase
    • Recent history of MI or cardiac insufficiency
    • Anemia, severe
    • Cerebral hemorrhage or recent head trauma
    • Glaucoma
    • Hepatic function impairment, severe
    • Hyperthyroidism
    • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
    • Hypotension
    • Sensitivity to nitrites
  • Patient with a history of mantle radiation
  • Patient with an allergy to polysporin or any of its ingredients
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01608880

Canada, British Columbia
Mount Saint Joseph Hospital
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V5T 3N4
Vancouver General Hospital
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V5Z 1M9
University of British Columbia Hospital
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6T 2B5
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of British Columbia
Principal Investigator: Sheina Macadam, MD, MSc, FRCSC University of British Columbia
Principal Investigator: Perry Gdalevitch, MD, FRCSC University of British Columbia
  More Information


Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: University of British Columbia Identifier: NCT01608880     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: H12-01161
Study First Received: May 28, 2012
Last Updated: September 8, 2014

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Pathologic Processes
Polymyxin B
Anti-Infective Agents, Local
Anti-Infective Agents
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Vasodilator Agents processed this record on May 25, 2017