ResearchPad - systematic-review-update Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Increased circulating vascular endothelial growth factor in acute myeloid leukemia patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis]]> Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is one of the angiogenesis regulators, which plays an important role in tumor angiogenesis and tumor progression. Current studies have found that VEGF plays an important role in hematologic diseases including acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, the circulating levels of VEGF in AML were still controversial among published studies.MethodsThree databases including PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases were searched up to February 2020. All articles included in the meta-analysis met our inclusion and exclusion criteria. Studies will be screened and data extracted by two independent investigators. The Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS) and the Risk of Bias In Non-randomized Studies of Interventions (ROBINS-I) tool were applied to evaluate the quality of the included studies. A random-effects model was applied to pool the standardized mean difference (SMD). Heterogeneity test was performed by the Q statistic and quantified using I2. All statistical analysis was conducted in Stata 12.0 software.ResultsFourteen case-control studies were finally included in this systematic review and meta-analysis. Heterogeneity was high in our included studies (I2 = 91.1%, P < 0.001). Sensitivity analysis showed no significant change when any one study was excluded using random-effect methods (P > 0.05). Egger’s linear regression test showed that no publication bias existed (P > 0.05). Patients with AML, mainly those newly diagnosed and untreated, have higher VEGF levels (SMD = 0.85, 95% CI 0.28–1.42). Moreover, AML patients in n ≥ 40 group, plasma group, Asia and Africa group, and age ≥ 45 group had higher circulating VEGF levels (all P < 0.05).ConclusionsCompared to healthy controls, our meta-analysis shows a significantly higher level of circulating VEGF in AML patients, and it is associated with sample size, sample type, region, and age. ]]> <![CDATA[WOMEN's Knowledge of Obstetric Danger signs in Ethiopia (WOMEN's KODE):a systematic review and meta-analysis]]>


According to the 2015 World Health Organization report, globally, an estimated 10.7 million mothers died from 1990 to 2015 due to obstetric complications. This report showed that almost all global maternal deaths (99%) occurred in developing countries and two thirds of these deaths took place in sub-Saharan Africa where the majority of women lack knowledge about obstetric danger signs. In Ethiopia, in several research reports, it has been indicated that women have poor knowledge about obstetric danger signs. Although several studies have been conducted to assess women’s knowledge of obstetric danger signs, to date, no systematic review has been conducted in Ethiopia. Therefore, this review is aimed at synthesising the existing literature about women’s knowledge of obstetric danger signs.


We systematically searched for articles from MEDLINE, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Embase, Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar and Maternity and Infant Care databases. A combination of search terms including ‘knowledge’ or ‘awareness’ or ‘information’ and ‘pregnancy danger signs’ or ‘obstetric danger signs’ or ‘obstetric warning signs’ and ‘Ethiopia’ was used to locate appropriate articles. Two reviewers conducted article screening and data abstraction independently. Observational studies published in English and conducted in Ethiopia to date were assessed for quality using the adapted Newcastle Ottawa Scale for cross-sectional studies. The PRISMA checklist was used to present the findings of this systematic review.


From the 215 articles initially screened by abstracts and titles, 12 studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. All the studies reported women’s knowledge of obstetric danger signs during pregnancy, ten articles reported on the level of knowledge during delivery and eight studies reported on the level of knowledge of danger signs during the postpartum period. The pooled random effect meta-analysis level of women’s knowledge about obstetric danger signs during pregnancy, delivery and postpartum was 48%, 43% and 32%, respectively. Maternal age, education, income, health service use, distance from facility and women’s autonomy were reported in several studies as determinants of women’s knowledge of obstetric danger signs.


Women’s knowledge about obstetric danger signs in Ethiopia was very poor, which could hamper access to obstetric care when women encounter obstetric complications. Counselling services during antenatal care and community-based health information dissemination about obstetric danger signs should be strengthened.

Systematic review registration

PROSPERO CRD42017077000

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (10.1186/s13643-019-0979-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

<![CDATA[Body mass index and dental caries in children and adolescents: a systematic review of literature published 2004 to 2011]]>

The objective

The authors undertook an updated systematic review of the relationship between body mass index and dental caries in children and adolescents.


The authors searched Medline, ISI, Cochrane, Scopus, Global Health and CINAHL databases and conducted lateral searches from reference lists for papers published from 2004 to 2011, inclusive. All empirical papers that tested associations between body mass index and dental caries in child and adolescent populations (aged 0 to 18 years) were included.


Dental caries is associated with both high and low body mass index.


A non-linear association between body mass index and dental caries may account for inconsistent findings in previous research. We recommend future research investigate the nature of the association between body mass index and dental caries in samples that include a full range of body mass index scores, and explore how factors such as socioeconomic status mediate the association between body mass index and dental caries.

<![CDATA[F-18-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography (PET) and PET/computed tomography imaging in primary staging of patients with malignant melanoma: a systematic review]]>


The aim of this systematic review was to systematically assess the potential patient-relevant benefit (primary aim) and diagnostic and prognostic accuracy (secondary aim) of positron emission tomography (PET) and PET/computed tomography (CT) in primary staging of malignant melanoma. This systematic review updates the previous evidence for PET(/CT) in malignant melanoma.

Materials and methods

For the first aim, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigating patient-relevant outcomes and comparing PET and PET(/CT) with each other or with conventional imaging were considered. For the secondary aim, a review of reviews was conducted, which was amended by an update search for primary studies. MEDLINE, EMBASE and four databases of the Cochrane Library were searched. The risk of bias was assessed using a modified QUADAS tool.


No RCTs investigating the patient-relevant benefit of PET(/CT) and no prognostic accuracy studies were found. Seventeen diagnostic accuracy studies of varying quality were identified. For patients with American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stages I and II, sensitivity mostly ranged from 0 to 67%. Specificity ranged from 77 to 100%. For AJCC stages III and IV, sensitivity ranged from 68 to 87% and specificity from 92 to 98%.


There is currently no evidence of a patient-relevant benefit of PET(/CT) in the primary staging of malignant melanoma. RCTs investigating patient-relevant outcomes are therefore required. The diagnostic accuracy of PET(/CT) appears to increase with higher AJCC stages.

<![CDATA[Overview of systematic reviews of the effectiveness of reminders in improving healthcare professional behavior]]>


The purpose of this project was to conduct an overview of existing systematic reviews to evaluate the effectiveness of reminders in changing professional behavior in clinical settings.

Materials and methods

Relevant systematic reviews of reminder interventions were identified through searches in MEDLINE, EMBASE, DARE and the Cochrane Library in conjunction with a larger project examining professional behavioral change interventions. Reviews were appraised using AMSTAR, a validated tool for assessing the quality of systematic reviews. As most reviews only reported vote counting, conclusions about effectiveness for each review were based on a count of positive studies. If available, we also report effect sizes. Conclusions were based on the findings from higher quality and current systematic reviews.


Thirty-five reviews were eligible for inclusion in this overview. Ten reviews examined the effectiveness of reminders generally, 5 reviews focused on specific health care settings, 14 reviews concentrated on specific behaviors and 6 reviews addressed specific patient populations. The quality of the reviews was variable (median = 3, range = 1 to 8). Seven reviews had AMSTAR scores >5 and were considered in detail. Five of these seven reviews demonstrated positive effects of reminders in changing provider behavior. Few reviews used quantitative pooling methods; in one high quality and current review, the overall observed effects were moderate with an absolute median improvement in performance of 4.2% (IQR: 0.5% to 6.6%).


The results support that modest improvements can occur with the use of reminders. The effect size is consistent with other interventions that have been used to improve professional behavior.


Reminders appear effective in improving different clinical behaviors across a range of settings.