AIM: To perform a systematic review with network meta-analysis to resolve this uncertainty.
METHODS: We searched the medical literature through July 2020 for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) assessing efficacy of drugs for adults with FD, compared with each other, or placebo. Trials reported a dichotomous assessment of symptom status after completion of therapy. We pooled data using a random effects model. Efficacy was reported as a pooled relative risk (RR) of remaining symptomatic with a 95% confidence interval (CI) to summarise efficacy of each comparison tested. Relative ranking was assessed with surface under the cumulative ranking curve (SUCRA) probabilities.
RESULTS: We identified 71 eligible RCTs (19 243 participants). Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) were ranked second for efficacy (RR of remaining symptomatic = 0.71; 95% CI 0.58-0.87, SUCRA 0.87), and first when only low risk of bias trials were included. Most RCTs that used TCAs recruited patients who were refractory to other drugs included in the network. Although sulpiride or levosulpiride were ranked first for efficacy (RR = 0.49; 95% CI 0.36-0.69, SUCRA 0.99), trial quality was low and only 86 patients received active therapy. TCAs were more likely to cause adverse events than placebo.
CONCLUSIONS: TCAs, histamine-2 receptor antagonists, standard- and low-dose proton pump inhibitors, sulpiride or levosulpiride, itopride and acotiamide were all more efficacious than placebo for FD.
CASE SUMMARY: Two special COVID-19 cases-one full-term pregnant woman and one elderly (72-year-old) man-were treated by veno-venous (VV)-ECMO in the Second People's Hospital of Zhongshan, Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province, China. Both patients had developed refractory hypoxemia shortly after hospital admission, despite conventional support, and were therefore managed by VV-ECMO. Although both experienced multiple ECMO-related complications on top of the COVID-19 disease, their conditions improved gradually. Both patients were weaned successfully from the ECMO therapy. At the time of writing of this report, the woman has recovered completely and been discharged from hospital to home; the man remains on mechanical ventilation, due to respiratory muscle weakness and suspected lung fibrosis. As ECMO itself is associated with various complications, it is very important to understand and treat these complications to achieve optimal outcome.
CONCLUSION: VV-ECMO can provide sufficient gas exchange for COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome. However, it is crucial to understand and treat ECMO-related complications.