Effects of 4 major brain protection strategies during aortic arch surgery: A protocol for a systematic review and network meta-analysis using Stata

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Background:Reliable brain protection during aortic arch surgery remains a formidable surgical challenge. Various cerebral protection techniques have been used in the clinic; however, there is no consensus regarding which strategy is best. We will perform a network meta-analysis (NMA) focusing on the permanent neurological deficits (PND) and perioperative mortality associated with 4 major brain protection strategies used during aortic arch surgery.Methods:We will perform a literature search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and PubMed databases. The primary outcomes of interest in this analysis will be PND and perioperative mortality. Inconsistencies in the NMA will be evaluated with global and local approaches. Network rank and surface under the cumulative ranking curve (SUCRA) analyses will be performed to evaluate and identify the superiority of different brain protection techniques.Results:This study is ongoing and will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for consideration of publication.Conclusions:Our study will increase understanding of 4 major brain protection strategies during aortic arch surgery and be helpful to clinicians using NMA in their studies.

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