A network meta-analysis of osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture treatments
Comparative Efficacy and Tolerability of Three Treatments in Old People with Osteoporotic Vertebral Compression Fracture: A Network Meta-Analysis and Systematic ReviewPLoS One. 2015 Apr 13;10(4):e0123153
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Five randomized controlled trials (RCT) with a total of 777 patients were included in this meta-analysis to analyze the efficacy of percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP), balloon kyphoplasty (BK), and conservative treatment (CT) in elderly patients with an osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture. Visual analogue scale (VAS), the risk of all-cause discontinuation, and the incidence of new fractures were used to assess and compare the three treatments options. Pooled results demonstrated PVP to be more beneficial for pain relief, and BK correlated with lower risk of all-cause discontinuation, although additional, larger-scale studies longer duration follow-ups are needed for a more conclusive analysis.
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Was the validity of all of the studies referred to in the text assessed with use of appropriate criteria (either in selecting the studies for inclusion or in analyzing the studies that were cited)?
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Detsky AS, Naylor CD, O'Rourke K, McGeer AJ, L'Abbé KA. J Clin Epidemiol. 1992;45:255-65
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Why was this study needed now?
Patients with osteoporosis, mainly the elderly, often suffer vertebral compression fractures. Common treatments for these fractures are percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP), balloon kyphoplasty (BK), and conservative treatment (CT). Previous meta-analyses have been limited in the number comparisons that can be made between the three treatments and the number of trials included. As a result, there is an ongoing discussion surrounding comparative efficacy of these treatments. This network meta-analysis was synthesized to provide a hierarchy of the three treatments based on pain, the risk of all-cause discontinuation, and the incidence of new fractures.
What was the principal research question?
Which of the three treatments: percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP), balloon kyphoplasty (BK), and conservative treatment (CT), is the most effective and tolerable treatment in elderly patients with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures?
What were the important findings?
- A total of 5 randomized clinical trials were included in the network meta-analysis.
- Direct and indirect comparisons on visual analogue scale (VAS) scores indicated greater reduction in pain with PVP (3/5 studies; p>0.0001, p=0.028, p>0.0001) and BK (1/5 studies; p<0.0001) treatments compared to CT; according to SUCRA, PVP ranked first, BK second, and CT placed third
- Direct comparisons evaluating the risk of all-cause discontinuation were significantly lower in BK (1/5 studies; p=0.036) compared to CT; according to SUCRA, BK ranked first, PVP second, and CT was third
- Studies assessing the incidence of new fractures (36/5 studies) demonstrated no significant differences between treatments (p=0.22, 0.769, 0.065); according to SUCRA, CT had the lowest probability of new fractures, BK in second place, and PVP ranked third
- One study demonstrated PVP to be the suggested treatment when measured by cost-effectiveness
What should I remember most?
Pooled results demonstrated that PVP may be more beneficial for pain relief, and BK may demonstrate a lower risk of all-cause discontinuation in elderly osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture patients. However, definitive conclusions cannot be made based on these findings as this study was limited by the number of available trials and the number of patients included; further studies are needed to strengthen the body of evidence from which clinical decisions can be made with regards to the management of compression fractures in the elderly.
How will this affect the care of my patients?
Few clinical recommendations can be made based on the results of this research. While PVP treatment showed greater beneficial outcomes for pain relief, and BK was shown to have the lowest risk of all-cause discontinuation in elderly patients with an osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture, the overall body of evidence was limited quantity and quality. Future studies with larger and more uniform patient population are needed to combat heterogeneity and longer follow-up durations in studies are needed to examine the effects of these three management options.
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