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Papers of the Week

2020 Jun 26

Stem Cell Res Ther



Stem cell-based therapies for ischemic stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials.


Li Z, Dong X, Tian M, Liu C, Wang K, Li L, Liu Z, Liu J
Stem Cell Res Ther. 2020 Jun 26; 11(1):252.
PMID: 32586371.


Recently, extensive researches about stem cell-based therapies for ischemic stroke have been published; our review evaluated the efficacy and safety of stem cell-based therapies for ischemic stroke. Our review was registered on PROSPERO (http://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO), registration number CRD42019135805. Two independent observers searched PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials), and Web of Science (Science Citation Index Expanded) for relevant studies up to 31 May 2019. We included clinical trials which compared efficacy outcomes (measured by National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), modified Rankin scale (mRS), or Barthel index (BI)) and safety outcomes (such as death and adverse effects) between the stem cell-based therapies and control in ischemic stroke. We performed random effect meta-analysis using Review Manager 5.3. Our review included nine randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and seven non-randomized studies (NRSs), involving 740 participants. Stem cell-based therapies were associated with better outcomes measured by NIHSS (mean difference (MD) - 1.63, 95% confidence intervals (CI) - 2.73 to - 0.53, I =60%) and BI (MD 14.68, 95% CI 1.12 to 28.24, I = 68%) in RCTs, and by BI (MD 6.40, 95% CI 3.14 to 9.65, I = 0%) in NRSs. However, the risk of bias was high and the efficacy outcomes of RCTs were high heterogeneity. There was no significant difference in mortality between the stem cell group and the control group. Fever, headache, and recurrent stroke were the most frequently reported adverse effects. Our review shows that stem cell-based therapies can improve the neurological deficits and activities of daily living in patients with ischemic stroke.