Bayesian network meta-analysis of nitinol stents, covered stents, drug-eluting stents, and drug-coated balloons in the femoropopliteal artery

Konstantinos Katsanos*, Stavros Spiliopoulos, Narayan Karunanithy, Miltiadis Krokidis, Tarun Sabharwal, Peter Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)



Several randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have shown the superiority of some of these technologies over balloon angioplasty, but direct comparisons between these treatment options are lacking. The authors conducted a network meta-analysis of RCTs comparing bare nitinol stents, covered nitinol stents, paclitaxel- or sirolimus-eluting stents (PES or SES), and paclitaxel-coated balloons (PCB) with plain balloon angioplasty or with each other in the femoropopliteal artery (PROSPERO registry: CRD42013004845). 


Sixteen RCTs comprising 2532 patients with 4227 person-years of follow-up were analyzed on an intention-to-treat basis. Bayesian random effects Poisson and binomial models were used for mixed treatment comparisons (WinBUGS). Clinical heterogeneity was accounted for by incorporating a meta-regression model on trial-specific baseline risk. End points included technical success, vascular restenosis, target lesion revascularization, and major amputations. Pairwise odds ratios and rate ratios (ORs and RRs) of absolute treatment effects were calculated, and the probabilities of each treatment being best are reported. Summary estimates are reported as the posterior median and associated credible intervals (CrIs) that serve the same purpose as confidence intervals in the context of the Bayesian framework. Extensive sensitivity, meta-regression, and network consistency analyses were performed to evaluate heterogeneity. 


Technical success was highest with covered stents (pooled OR, 13.6; 95% CrI, 3.3-31.1, probability best 82%) followed by uncovered stents (pooled OR, 7.0; 95% CrI, 2.6-129, probability best 18%) when compared with balloon angioplasty (reference treatment). Vascular restenosis was lowest with PES (RR, 0.43; 95% CrI, 0.16-1.18, probability best 45%) followed by PCB (RR, 0.43; 95% CrI, 0.26-0.67, probability best 42%). Target lesion revascularization was lowest with PCB (RR, 0.36; 95% CrI, 0.23-0.55, probability best 56%) followed by PES (RR, 0.42; 95% CrI, 0.16-1.06, probability best 33%). Major amputations were rare in all treatment and control groups (pooled amputation rate of 0.7 events per 100 person-years). 


Immediate technical success is better with the use of covered stents, whereas paclitaxel-eluting stents and paclitaxel-coated balloons offer the best long-term results in the femoropopliteal artery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1123-1133.e8
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2014


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