Challenges and Limitations in the Interpretation of Systematic Reviews: Making Sense of Clopidogrel and CYP2C19 Pharmacogenetics

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From 2010 to 2012, nine systematic reviews reported highly variable conclusions regarding the association between carriage of a cytochrome P450 2C19 loss-of-function allele and the risk of adverse cardiovascular (CV) events in individuals using clopidogrel. Possible contributors to the variable findings include differences in patient populations, CV end points, and statistical models utilized by the systematic reviews, as well as unexplained heterogeneity, inconsistent/incomplete reporting, and risk of publication bias with respect to the primary studies.

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