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Flumazenil versus placebo or no intervention for people with cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 08 10; 8:CD002798.CD

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Hepatic encephalopathy is a common complication of cirrhosis which results in poor brain functioning. The spectrum of changes associated with hepatic encephalopathy ranges from the clinically 'indiscernible' or minimal hepatic encephalopathy to the clinically 'obvious' or overt hepatic encephalopathy. Flumazenil is a synthetic benzodiazepine antagonist with high affinity for the central benzodiazepine recognition site. Flumazenil may benefit people with hepatic encephalopathy through an indirect negative allosteric modulatory effect on gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor function. The previous version of this review, which included 13 randomised clinical trials, found no effect of flumazenil on all-cause mortality, based on an analysis of 10 randomised clinical trials, but found a beneficial effect on hepatic encephalopathy, based on an analysis of eight randomised clinical trials.

OBJECTIVES

To evaluate the beneficial and harmful effects of flumazenil versus placebo or no intervention for people with cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy.

SEARCH METHODS

We searched The Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group Controlled Trials Register, CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, Science Citation Index Expanded, and LILACS; meeting and conference proceedings; and bibliographies in May 2017.

SELECTION CRITERIA

We included randomised clinical trials regardless of publication status, blinding, or language in the analyses of benefits and harms, and observational studies in the assessment of harms.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS

Two review authors extracted data independently. We undertook meta-analyses and presented results using risk ratios (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) and I2 values as a marker of heterogeneity. We assessed bias control using the Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group domains; determined the quality of the evidence using GRADE; evaluated the risk of small-study effects in regression analyses; and conducted trial sequential, subgroup, and sensitivity analyses.

MAIN RESULTS

We identified 14 eligible randomised clinical trials with 867 participants, the majority of whom had an acute episode of overt hepatic encephalopathy. In addition, we identified one ongoing randomised clinical trial. We were unable to gather outcome data from two randomised clinical trials with 25 participants. Thus, our analyses include 842 participants from 12 randomised clinical trials comparing flumazenil versus placebo. We classified one randomised clinical trial at low risk of bias in the overall assessment and the remaining randomised clinical trials at high risk of bias. The duration of follow-up ranged from a few minutes to two weeks, but it was less than one day in the majority of the trials.In total, 32/433 (7.4%) participants allocated to flumazenil versus 38/409 (9.3%) participants allocated to placebo died (RR 0.75, 95% CI 0.48 to 1.16; 11 randomised clinical trials; low quality evidence). The Trial Sequential Analysis and the one randomised clinical trial assessed as low risk of bias (RR 0.76, 95% CI 0.37 to 1.53) found no beneficial or harmful effects of flumazenil on all-cause mortality. The methods used to evaluate hepatic encephalopathy included several different clinical scales, electrophysiological variables, and psychometric tests. Flumazenil was associated with a beneficial effect on hepatic encephalopathy when including all randomised clinical trials (RR 0.75, 95% CI 0.71 to 0.80; 824 participants; nine randomised clinical trials; low quality evidence), or just the trial at low risk of bias (RR 0.78, 95% CI 0.72 to 0.84; 527 participants). The Trial Sequential Analysis supported a beneficial effect of flumazenil on hepatic encephalopathy. The randomised clinical trials included little information about causes of death and little information on non-fatal serious adverse events.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS

We found low quality evidence suggesting a short-term beneficial effect of flumazenil on hepatic encephalopathy in people with cirrhosis, but no evidence of an effect on all-cause mortality. Additional evidence from large, high quality randomised clinical trials is needed to evaluate the potential benefits and harms of flumazenil in people with cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy.

Authors+Show Affiliations

UCL Institute for Liver & Digestive Health, Division of Medicine, Royal Free Campus, University College London, Rowland Hill Street, Hampstead, London, UK, NW3 2PF.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Meta-Analysis
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Review
Systematic Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28796283

Citation

Goh, Ee Teng, et al. "Flumazenil Versus Placebo or No Intervention for People With Cirrhosis and Hepatic Encephalopathy." The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, vol. 8, 2017, p. CD002798.
Goh ET, Andersen ML, Morgan MY, et al. Flumazenil versus placebo or no intervention for people with cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017;8:CD002798.
Goh, E. T., Andersen, M. L., Morgan, M. Y., & Gluud, L. L. (2017). Flumazenil versus placebo or no intervention for people with cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 8, CD002798. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD002798.pub4
Goh ET, et al. Flumazenil Versus Placebo or No Intervention for People With Cirrhosis and Hepatic Encephalopathy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 08 10;8:CD002798. PubMed PMID: 28796283.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Flumazenil versus placebo or no intervention for people with cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy. AU - Goh,Ee Teng, AU - Andersen,Mette L, AU - Morgan,Marsha Y, AU - Gluud,Lise Lotte, Y1 - 2017/08/10/ PY - 2017/8/11/pubmed PY - 2017/9/21/medline PY - 2017/8/11/entrez SP - CD002798 EP - CD002798 JF - The Cochrane database of systematic reviews JO - Cochrane Database Syst Rev VL - 8 N2 - BACKGROUND: Hepatic encephalopathy is a common complication of cirrhosis which results in poor brain functioning. The spectrum of changes associated with hepatic encephalopathy ranges from the clinically 'indiscernible' or minimal hepatic encephalopathy to the clinically 'obvious' or overt hepatic encephalopathy. Flumazenil is a synthetic benzodiazepine antagonist with high affinity for the central benzodiazepine recognition site. Flumazenil may benefit people with hepatic encephalopathy through an indirect negative allosteric modulatory effect on gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor function. The previous version of this review, which included 13 randomised clinical trials, found no effect of flumazenil on all-cause mortality, based on an analysis of 10 randomised clinical trials, but found a beneficial effect on hepatic encephalopathy, based on an analysis of eight randomised clinical trials. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the beneficial and harmful effects of flumazenil versus placebo or no intervention for people with cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy. SEARCH METHODS: We searched The Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group Controlled Trials Register, CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, Science Citation Index Expanded, and LILACS; meeting and conference proceedings; and bibliographies in May 2017. SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomised clinical trials regardless of publication status, blinding, or language in the analyses of benefits and harms, and observational studies in the assessment of harms. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors extracted data independently. We undertook meta-analyses and presented results using risk ratios (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) and I2 values as a marker of heterogeneity. We assessed bias control using the Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group domains; determined the quality of the evidence using GRADE; evaluated the risk of small-study effects in regression analyses; and conducted trial sequential, subgroup, and sensitivity analyses. MAIN RESULTS: We identified 14 eligible randomised clinical trials with 867 participants, the majority of whom had an acute episode of overt hepatic encephalopathy. In addition, we identified one ongoing randomised clinical trial. We were unable to gather outcome data from two randomised clinical trials with 25 participants. Thus, our analyses include 842 participants from 12 randomised clinical trials comparing flumazenil versus placebo. We classified one randomised clinical trial at low risk of bias in the overall assessment and the remaining randomised clinical trials at high risk of bias. The duration of follow-up ranged from a few minutes to two weeks, but it was less than one day in the majority of the trials.In total, 32/433 (7.4%) participants allocated to flumazenil versus 38/409 (9.3%) participants allocated to placebo died (RR 0.75, 95% CI 0.48 to 1.16; 11 randomised clinical trials; low quality evidence). The Trial Sequential Analysis and the one randomised clinical trial assessed as low risk of bias (RR 0.76, 95% CI 0.37 to 1.53) found no beneficial or harmful effects of flumazenil on all-cause mortality. The methods used to evaluate hepatic encephalopathy included several different clinical scales, electrophysiological variables, and psychometric tests. Flumazenil was associated with a beneficial effect on hepatic encephalopathy when including all randomised clinical trials (RR 0.75, 95% CI 0.71 to 0.80; 824 participants; nine randomised clinical trials; low quality evidence), or just the trial at low risk of bias (RR 0.78, 95% CI 0.72 to 0.84; 527 participants). The Trial Sequential Analysis supported a beneficial effect of flumazenil on hepatic encephalopathy. The randomised clinical trials included little information about causes of death and little information on non-fatal serious adverse events. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: We found low quality evidence suggesting a short-term beneficial effect of flumazenil on hepatic encephalopathy in people with cirrhosis, but no evidence of an effect on all-cause mortality. Additional evidence from large, high quality randomised clinical trials is needed to evaluate the potential benefits and harms of flumazenil in people with cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy. SN - 1469-493X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28796283/Flumazenil_versus_placebo_or_no_intervention_for_people_with_cirrhosis_and_hepatic_encephalopathy_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD002798.pub4 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -