Effects of replacement therapies with clotting factors in patients with hemophilia: A systematic review and meta-analysis
PloS one. 2022;17(1):e0262273
BACKGROUND Different prophylactic and episodic clotting factor treatments are used in the management of hemophilia. A summarize of the evidence is needed inform decision-making. OBJECTIVE To compare the effects of factor replacement therapies in patients with hemophilia. METHODS We performed a systematic search in PubMed, Central Cochrane Library, and Scopus. We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published up to December 2020, which compared different factor replacement therapies in patients with hemophilia. Random-effects meta-analyses were performed whenever possible. The certainty of the evidence was assessed using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) methodology. The study protocol was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42021225857). RESULTS Nine RCTs were included in this review, of which six compared episodic with prophylactic treatment, all of them performed in patients with hemophilia A. Pooled results showed that, compared to the episodic treatment group, the annualized bleeding rate was lower in the low-dose prophylactic group (ratio of means [RM]: 0.27, 95% CI: 0.17 to 0.43), intermediate-dose prophylactic group (RM: 0.15, 95% CI: 0.07 to 0.36), and high-dose prophylactic group (RM: 0.07, 95% CI: 0.04 to 0.13). With significant difference between these subgroups (p = 0.003, I2 = 82.9%). In addition, compared to the episodic treatment group, the annualized joint bleeding rate was lower in the low-dose prophylactic group (RM: 0.17, 95% CI: 0.06 to 0.43), intermediate-dose prophylactic group (RM of 0.14, 95% CI: 0.07 to 0.27), and high-dose prophylactic group (RM of 0.08, 95% CI: 0.04 to 0.16). Without significant subgroup differences. The certainty of the evidence was very low for all outcomes according to GRADE methodology. The other studies compared different types of clotting factor concentrates (CFCs), assessed pharmacokinetic prophylaxis, or compared different frequencies of medication administration. CONCLUSIONS Our results suggest that prophylactic treatment (at either low, intermediate, or high doses) is superior to episodic treatment for bleeding prevention. In patients with hemophilia A, the bleeding rate seems to have a dose-response effect. However, no study compared different doses of prophylactic treatment, and all results had a very low certainty of the evidence. Thus, future studies are needed to confirm these results and inform decision making.