Evidence-based interventions implemented in low-and middle-income countries for sickle cell disease management: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials
PloS one. 2021;16(2):e0246700
BACKGROUND Despite ~90% of sickle cell disease (SCD) occurring in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs), the vast majority of people are not receiving evidence-based interventions (EBIs) to reduce SCD-related adverse outcomes and mortality, and data on implementation research outcomes (IROs) and SCD is limited. This study aims to synthesize available data on EBIs for SCD and assess IROs. METHODS We conducted a systematic review of RCTs reporting on EBIs for SCD management implemented in LMICs. We identified articles from PubMed/Medline, Global Health, PubMed Central, Embase, Web of Science medical subject heading (MeSH and Emtree) and keywords, published from inception through February 23, 2020, and conducted an updated search through December 24, 2020. We provide intervention characteristics for each study, EBI impact on SCD, and evidence of reporting on IROs. MAIN RESULTS 29 RCTs were analyzed. EBIs identified included disease modifying agents, supportive care agents/analgesics, anti-malarials, systemic treatments, patient/ provider education, and nutritional supplements. Studies using disease modifying agents, nutritional supplements, and anti-malarials reported improvements in pain crisis, hospitalization, children's growth and reduction in severity and prevalence of malaria. Two studies reported on the sustainability of supplementary arginine, citrulline, and daily chloroquine and hydroxyurea for SCD patients. Only 13 studies (44.8%) provided descriptions that captured at least three of the eight IROs. There was limited reporting of acceptability, feasibility, fidelity, cost and sustainability. CONCLUSION EBIs are effective for SCD management in LMICs; however, measurement of IROs is scarce. Future research should focus on penetration of EBIs to inform evidence-based practice and sustainability in the context of LMICs. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION This review is registered in PROSPERO #CRD42020167289.
Neonatal Uterine Bleedings: An Ignored Sign but a Possible Cause of Early-Onset Endometriosis - A Systematic Review
Biomedicine hub. 2021;6(1):6-16
OBJECTIVE Based on the hypothesis that neonatal uterine bleedings (NUB), occurring mostly in the first week after birth, could represent a pathogenetic mechanism for early-onset endometriosis, this systematic review (SR) was undertaken to evaluate the prevalence and screening strategies used to assess and quantify NUB. DESIGN Both a SR and a sample literature search in PubMed and Embase were conducted to gather information on NUB prevalence and screening techniques. This was performed by an information specialist. Only full-text articles regarding the assessment of NUB in neonates in the first 2 weeks after birth were included. No limit on language or publication data was used. MATERIALS AND METHODS The SR was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42019138121). Data was first assessed for eligibility on title and abstract by 2 blinded review authors. Any disagreements were discussed with a third reviewer if necessary. Subsequently, full-text articles were read and assessed for quality using the Cochrane Collaboration Handbook. RESULTS Out of 1,988 articles in the systematic search, 10 relevant articles were selected, of which 8 were identified through the systematic search and 2 were found through other sources. The sample search of 4,445 articles did not bring up relevant articles. Results were not comparable due to the heterogeneity of screening techniques, although data showed consensus. The prevalence of visible bleeding ranged from 3.3 to 53.8% and the prevalence of occult bleeding from 25.4 to 96.7%. The occurrence was the highest between the 3rd and 7th day postpartum (PP) and the bleeding lasted for 3-4 days on average. Various screening techniques for detecting NUB were found in the literature, including the use of hemoglobin detection devices (such as Hemastix) in the vaginal vestibulum, comparison of diapers with stains of known volume, colposcopy, and ultrasonography. CONCLUSION The reported prevalence of NUB varies considerably, with a consistent occurrence between the 3rd and the 7th day PP. Literature to assess NUB is dated. The techniques are poorly described and heterogeneous. Future research should focus on prospective cohort studies in order to attempt to correlate NUB cases to (early-onset) endometriosis.
Role of gene therapy in Fanconi anemia: A systematic and literature review with future directions
Hematology/oncology and stem cell therapy. 2021
Gene therapy (GT) has been reported to improve bone marrow function in individuals with Fanconi anemia (FA); however, its clinical application is still in the initial stages. We conducted this systematic review, following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, to assess the long-term safety and clinical outcomes of GT in FA patients. Electronic searches from PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar were conducted and full texts of articles meeting our inclusion criteria were reviewed. Three clinical trials were included, with a total of nine patients and mean age of 10.7 ± 5.7 years. All patients had lentiviral-mediated GT. A 1-year follow-up showed stabilization in blood lineages, without any serious adverse effects from GT. A metaregression analysis could not be conducted, as very little long-term follow-up data of patients was observed, and the median survival rate could not be calculated. Thus, we can conclude that GT seems to be a safe procedure in FA; however, further research needs to be conducted on the longitudinal clinical effects of GT in FA, for a better insight into its potential to become a standard form of treatment.
Bleeding Assessment Tools in the Diagnosis of von Willebrand Disease: Systematic Review & Meta-Analysis of Test Accuracy
Blood advances. 2021
BACKGROUND Von Willebrand Disease (VWD) can be associated with significant morbidity. Patients with VWD can experience bruising, mucocutaneous bleeding, and bleeding after dental and surgical procedures. Early diagnosis and treatment are important to minimize the risk of these complications. Several bleeding assessment tools (BATs) have been used to quantify bleeding symptoms as a screening tool for VWD. OBJECTIVE We systematically reviewed diagnostic test accuracy results of bleeding assessment tools (BATs) to screen patients for VWD. METHODS We searched Cochrane Central, MEDLINE, and EMBASE for eligible studies, reference lists of relevant reviews, registered trials, and relevant conference proceedings. Two investigators screened and abstracted data. Risk of bias was assessed using QUADAS-2 and certainty of evidence using the GRADE framework. We pooled estimates of sensitivity and specificity. RESULTS The review included 7 cohort studies that evaluated the use of BATs to screen adult and pediatric patients for VWD. The pooled estimates for sensitivity and specificity were 75% (95% confidence interval [CI] 66%-83%) and 54% (29%-77%), respectively. Certainty of evidence varied from moderate to high. CONCLUSION This systematic review provides accuracy estimates for validated BATs as a screening modality for VWD. A BAT is a useful initial screening test to determine who needs specific blood testing. The pretest probability of VWD (often determined by the clinical setting/patient population), along with sensitivity and specificity estimates will influence patient management.
Metabolomics-Based Clinical Efficacy of Compound Shenlu Granule, a Chinese Patent Medicine, in the Supportive Management of Aplastic Anemia Patients: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial
Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM. 2021;2021:6655848
OBJECTIVE To explore the clinical efficacy and mechanism of compound Shenlu granule (SLG) treatment in patients with aplastic anemia (AA). METHODS A total of 89 AA patients were randomly divided into an SLG supportive group (group A, n = 44) and a control group (group B, n = 45) while continuing Western medical management. After 6 months, hemograms, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) syndrome scores, and overall clinical efficacy rate were assessed. Serum metabolomics characteristics were observed using ultraperformance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry after SLG intervention. RESULTS The levels of red blood cell (RBC), hemoglobin (Hb), and platelet (PLT) were increased in both groups after treatment for 6 months (P < 0.05), and in group A, the elevation of PLT became much more significant (P < 0.01). The TCM syndrome score was lower in group A than in group B after treatment (P < 0.05). Metabolomics data showed a significant difference in the patients using SLG after 6 months, and 14 biomarkers were identified. CONCLUSION SLG supportive treatment showed positive results in patients with AA, and metabolomics data indicated that SLG influenced aminoacyl-tRNA biosynthesis and glycerophospholipid metabolism to gradually return to normal.
Caplacizumab prevents refractoriness and mortality in acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura: integrated analysis
Blood advances. 2021;5(8):2137-2141
The efficacy and safety of caplacizumab in individuals with acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (aTTP) have been established in the phase 2 TITAN and phase 3 HERCULES trials. Integrated analysis of data from both trials was conducted to increase statistical power for assessing treatment differences in efficacy and safety outcomes. Caplacizumab was associated with a significant reduction in the number of deaths (0 vs 4; P < .05) and a significantly lower incidence of refractory TTP (0 vs 8; P < .05) vs placebo during the treatment period. Consistent with the individual trials, treatment with caplacizumab resulted in a faster time to platelet count response (hazard ratio, 1.65; P < .001), a 72.6% reduction in the proportion of patients with the composite end point of TTP-related death, TTP exacerbation, or occurrence of at least 1 treatment-emergent major thromboembolic event during the treatment period (13.0% vs 47.3%; P < .001), and a 33.3% reduction in the median number of therapeutic plasma exchange days (5.0 vs 7.5 days) vs placebo. No new safety signals were identified; mild mucocutaneous bleeding was the main safety finding. This integrated analysis provided new evidence that caplacizumab prevents mortality and refractory disease in acquired TTP and strengthened individual trial findings, with a confirmed favorable safety and tolerability profile. These trials were registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01151423 and #NCT02553317.
Weekly epistaxis duration as an indicator of epistaxis severity in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia-Preliminary results from a randomized controlled trial
Laryngoscope investigative otolaryngology. 2021;6(3):370-375
OBJECTIVES There is great interest in developing and studying novel therapies for epistaxis in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) given its associated morbidity and impact on patients' quality of life. Several recent randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have been negative, likely attributed to poorly characterized outcome measures. This study reported on and evaluated an epistaxis outcome measure, weekly epistaxis duration (WED) in an ongoing RCT, with the aim of better characterizing the measurement of epistaxis for clinical trials. MATERIALS AND METHODS Patients were recruited to an ongoing phase II, double-blind, cross-over RCTs of oral doxycycline for HHT-associated epistaxis. Patients were included for the epistaxis measures analysis if they had already completed the initial 3-month run-in period, and had received treatment of either study drug doxycycline or placebo for a minimum of 6 months. The primary measure of interest was patient-reported outcome (PRO)-WED, captured from prospective daily diaries. Epistaxis severity score (ESS) was collected as a secondary outcome. RESULTS Seven patients were included for analysis, with 98% completion of the daily diary. The average PRO-WED across all patients was 85.0 minutes, SD 93.2 at baseline, and 65.6 minutes, SD 59.5 during treatment/placebo. Coefficient of variance for PRO-WED at baseline and during treatment/placebo was 0.49, SD 0.1 and 0.58, SD 0.2, respectively. Statistically significant changes in the mean PRO-WED from baseline to treatment/placebo was noted in six patients (86%). Only two patients (29%) had a significant change in ESS, with both reporting decreased (improved) scores after treatment/placebo as compared to baseline. CONCLUSIONS PRO-WED was a feasible clinical trials measure, was reasonably stable during baseline measurement, and appeared to be variable with treatment state, suggesting it may provide a sensitive clinical trials PRO in HHT.
Cost-utility of new film-coated tablet formulation of deferasirox vs deferoxamine among major beta-thalassemia patients in Iran
Medicine (Baltimore). 2020;99(28):e20949
OBJECTIVES Thalassemia is a hereditary disease, which caused economic burden in developing countries. This study evaluated the cost utility of new formulation of deferasirox (Jadenu) vs deferoxamine (Desferal) among B-Thalassemia-major patients from payer perspective in Iran. METHODS An economic-evaluation through Markov model was performed. A systematic review was conducted in order to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of comparators. Because of chelating therapy is weight-dependent, patients were assumed to be 2 years-old at initiation in first and 18 years-old in second scenario, and model was estimated lifetime costs and utilities. Costs were calculated to the Iran healthcare system through payer perspective and measured effectiveness using quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). One-way sensitivity analysis and budget impact analysis was also employed. RESULTS The 381 studies were retrieved from systematic searching through databases. After eliminating duplicate and irrelevant studies, 2 studies selected for evaluating the effectiveness. Jadenu was associated with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of 1470.6 and 2544.7 US$ vs Desferal in first and second scenario respectively. The estimated ICER for Jadenu compared to generic deferoxamine was 2837.0 and 6924.1 US$ for first and second scenario respectively. For all scenarios Jadenu is presumed as cost-effective option based on calculated ICER which was lower than 1 gross domestic product per capita in Iran. Sensitivity analysis showed that different parameters except discount rate and indirect cost did not have impact on results. Based on budget impact analysis the estimated cost for patients using Desferal (based on the market share of brand) was 44,021,478 US$ in 3 years vs 42,452,606 US$ in replacing 33% of brand market share with Jadenu. This replacement corresponded to the cost saving of almost 1,568,872 US$ for the payers in 3 years. The calculated cost of using generic deferoxamine in all patients was 68,948,392 US$. The increase in the cost of using Jadenu for 10% of all patients in this scenario would be 934,427 US$ (1.36%) US$ at the first year. CONCLUSIONS Based on this analysis, film-coated deferasirox appeared to be cost-effective treatment in comparison with Desferal for managing child and adult chronic iron overload in B-thalassemia major patients of Iran.
Quality assessment of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for the management of pregnant women with sickle cell disease using the AGREE II instrument: a systematic review
BMC pregnancy and childbirth. 2020;20(1):595
BACKGROUND The management of pregnant women with sickle cell disease (SCD) poses a major challenge for maternal healthcare services owing to the potential for complications associated with morbidity and mortality. Trustworthy evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) have a major impact on the positive outcomes of appropriate healthcare. The objective of this study was to critically appraise the quality of recent CPGs for SCD in pregnant women. METHODS Clinical questions were identified and the relevant CPG and bibliographic databases were searched and screened for eligible CPGs. Each CPG was appraised by four independent appraisers using the AGREE II Instrument. Inter-rater analysis was conducted. RESULTS Four eligible CPGs were appraised: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG). Among them, the overall assessments of three CPGs (NICE, RCOG, NHLBI) scored greater than 70%; these findings were consistent with the high scores in the six domains of AGREE II, including: scope and purpose, stakeholder involvement, rigor of development, clarity of presentation, applicability, and  editorial independence domains. Domain  scored (90%, 73%, 71%), domain  (90%, 46%, 47%), and domain  (71%, 77%, 52%) for NICE, RCOG, and NHLBI, respectively. Overall, the clinical recommendations were not significantly different between the included CPGs. CONCLUSIONS Three evidence-based CPGs presented superior methodological quality. NICE demonstrated the highest quality followed by RCOG and NHLBI and all three CPGs were recommended for use in practice.
Randomized controlled trial of effect of N-acetylcysteine as an antioxidant on iron overload in children with thalassemia major
Clinical and experimental pediatrics. 2020
BACKGROUND β-Thalassemias are characterized by the presence of mutations in the globin gene that result in the absence or reduced synthesis of β-globin chains of the hemoglobin tetramer. Several studies have reported increased oxidative stress in β-thalassemia major (β-TM) patients. N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a derivative of L-cysteine amino acid, is commonly used as a mucolytic drug. Numerous studies have reported efficient antioxidant activity of NAC. PURPOSE To evaluate the effects of NAC on oxidative stress status and hemoglobin levels in children with β-TM. METHODS This study was conducted between June and December 2019. One hundred β-TM patients were divided into two groups: 50 received NAC 10 mg/kg orally for 3 months (treatment group), while the other 50 received no treatment (non-treatment group). Total oxidant status (TOS), total antioxidant capacity (TAC), oxidative stress index (OSI), and hemoglobin (Hb) and ferritin levels were measured and compared between groups. RESULTS At the end of the study period, Hb and TAC levels were significantly higher in the treatment group than in the non-treatment group (P < .001 and .01, respectively). On the other hand, serum ferritin levels, TOS, and OSI were significantly lower (P = .004, .01, and .001, respectively) in the treatment group. CONCLUSION NAC can effectively reduce the oxidative status and increase the pre-transfusion Hb levels in children with β-TM. Furthermore, NAC could reduce iron overload in these patients.