Pharmacologic interventions for Kawasaki disease in children: A network meta-analysis of 56 randomized controlled trials
BACKGROUND Although the current consensus recommends a standard treatment of high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin with high-dose aspirin to manage Kawasaki disease (KD), the use of different adjunctive therapies remains controversial. The aim of the current network meta-analysis (NMA) was to compare the efficacy and tolerability of different existing interventions for the initial and refractory stages of KD. METHODS An NMA of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) was conducted using the frequentist model applied after electronic searches in PubMed, Embase, ScienceDirect, ProQuest, ClinicalTrials.gov, ClinicalKey, Cochrane CENTRAL, and Web of Science. The main outcomes were reduced fever duration/diminished severity of fever subsided. The initial stage of KD was defined as the first stage to treat patients with KD; the refractory stage of KD represents KD patients who failed to respond to standard KD treatment. The cut-off points for intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) were low (100-400 mg), medium (1 g), and high (at least 2 g). FINDINGS A total of fifty-six RCTs with 6486 participants were included. NMA demonstrated that the medium-dosage IVIG + aspirin + infliximab [mean difference=-1.76 days (95% confidence intervals (95% CIs): -3.65 to 0.13 days) compared to high-dosage IVIG + aspirin] exhibited the shortest fever duration; likewise, the medium-dosage IVIG + aspirin + infliximab [odds ratio (OR)=0.50, 95% CIs: 0.18-1.37 compared to high-dosage IVIG + aspirin] exhibited the smallest incidence of coronary artery lesion (CAL) in the initial-stage KD. In the refractory-stage KD, the high-dosage IVIG + pulse steroid therapy (OR=0.04, 95% CIs: 0.00-0.43 compared to the high-dosage IVIG only) had the best rate of decline of fever; likewise, the high-dosage IVIG + ciclosporin [OR=0.05 (95% CIs: 0.00-1.21) compared to the high-dosage IVIG only] exhibited the smallest incidence of CAL. Infliximab significantly improved resolution compared to the high-dosage IVIG only group (OR=0.20, 95%CIs: 0.07-0.62) in refractory-stage KD. INTERPRETATION The NMA demonstrated that the combination therapy with the standard therapy of IVIG and aspirin might have an additional effect on shortening the duration of fever and lowering the CAL incidence rate in patients with acute KD. Moreover, the combination therapy with high-dose IVIG and pulse steroid therapy or cyclosporine therapy might have an additional effect on improving the rate of decline of fever and lowering the incidence rate of CAL in children with refractory KD. Because some of the findings of this NMA should be considered hypothesis-generating rather than confirmatory, further evidence from de novo randomised trials is needed to support our results. FUNDING None.
Efficacy of Different Interventions to Reduce Pre- or Perioperative Blood Transfusion Rate in Patients with Colorectal Cancer: A Network Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
Current oncology (Toronto, Ont.). 2021;28(4):3214-3226
BACKGROUND The high proportion of blood transfusions before and during surgery carries unnecessary risk and results in poor prognosis in colorectal cancer patients. Different pharmacological interventions (i.e., iron supplement or recombinant erythropoietin) to reduce blood transfusion rates have shown inconclusive results. METHODS This network meta-analysis (NMA) consisted of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing the efficacy of different pharmacologic interventions (i.e., iron supplementation or recombinant erythropoietin) to reduce the blood transfusion rate. NMA statistics were conducted using the frequentist model. Results: Seven RCTs (688 participants) were included in this study. The NMA demonstrated that the combination of high-dose recombinant human erythropoietin and oral iron supplements was associated with the least probability of receiving a blood transfusion [odds ratio = 0.24, 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs): 0.08 to 0.73] and best reduced the amount of blood transfused if blood transfusion was necessary (mean difference = -2.62 U, 95% CI: -3.55 to -1.70 U) when compared to the placebo/control group. None of the investigated interventions were associated with any significantly different dropout rate compared to the placebo/control group. CONCLUSIONS The combination of high-dose recombinant human erythropoietin and oral iron supplements might be considered as a choice for reducing the rate of blood transfusion in patients with colorectal cancer. However, future large-scale RCT with long-term follow-up should be warranted to approve the long-term safety.