Network meta‐analysis comparing the outcomes of treatments for intermittent claudication tested in randomized controlled trials

Thanigaimani, Shiv, Phie, James, Sharma, Chinmay, Wong, Shannon, Ibrahim, Muhammad, Huynh, Pacific, Moxon, Joseph, Jones, Rhondda, and Golledge, Jonathan (2021) Network meta‐analysis comparing the outcomes of treatments for intermittent claudication tested in randomized controlled trials. Journal of the American Heart Association, 10 (9). e019672.

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Background: No network meta‐analysis has considered the relative efficacy of cilostazol, home exercise therapy, supervised exercise therapy (SET), endovascular revascularization (ER), and ER plus SET (ER+SET) in improving maximum walking distance (MWD) over short‐ (<1 year), moderate‐ (1 to <2 years), and long‐term (≥2 years) follow‐up in people with intermittent claudication.

Methods and Results: A systematic literature search was performed to identify randomized controlled trials testing 1 or more of these 5 treatments according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta‐Analysis guidelines. The primary outcome was improvement in MWD assessed by a standardized treadmill test. Secondary outcomes were adverse events and health‐related quality of life. Network meta‐analysis was performed using the gemtc R statistical package. The Cochrane collaborative tool was used to assess risk of bias. Forty‐six trials involving 4256 patients were included. At short‐term follow‐up, home exercise therapy (mean difference [MD], 89.4 m; 95% credible interval [CrI], 20.9–157.7), SET (MD, 186.8 m; 95% CrI, 136.4–237.6), and ER+SET (MD, 326.3 m; 95% CrI, 222.6–430.6), but not ER (MD, 82.5 m; 95% CrI, −2.4 to 168.2) and cilostazol (MD, 71.1 m; 95% CrI, −24.6 to 167.9), significantly improved MWD (in meters) compared with controls. At moderate‐term follow‐up, SET (MD, 201.1; 95% CrI, 89.8–318.3) and ER+SET (MD, 368.5; 95% CrI, 195.3–546.9), but not home exercise therapy (MD, 99.4; 95% CrI, −174.0 to 374.9) or ER (MD, 84.2; 95% CrI, −35.3 to 206.4), significantly improved MWD (in meters) compared to controls. At long‐term follow‐up, none of the tested treatments significantly improved MWD compared to controls. Adverse events and quality of life were reported inconsistently and could not be meta‐analyzed. Risk of bias was low, moderate, and high in 4, 24, and 18 trials respectively.

Conclusions: This network meta‐analysis suggested that SET and ER+SET are effective at improving MWD over the moderate term (<2 year) but not beyond this. Durable treatments for intermittent claudication are needed.

Item ID: 67944
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2047-9980
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley Blackwell This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC 1063476, NHMRC 1022752, James Cook University, Townsville Hospital and Health Services Study, Education and Research Trust Fund, Queensland Government
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2021 00:01
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3201 Cardiovascular medicine and haematology > 320101 Cardiology (incl. cardiovascular diseases) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2001 Clinical health > 200105 Treatment of human diseases and conditions @ 100%
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