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BMJ Open. 2014 Jun 19;4(6):e005453. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005453.

Drug efficacy in treating stable angina pectoris: a protocol for network meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.

Author information

  • 1State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Macao, China.
  • 2State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Macao, China School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.



There were 11 pairwise meta-analysis on the efficacy of β-blockers (including atenolol, propranolol, bisoprolol, metoprolol and nadolol), calcium channel blockers (including amlodipine, diltiazem, felodipine, nifedipine and verapamil), and nitrates (including isosorbide dinitrate, isosorbide mononitrate and nitroglycerin) in treating stable angina pectoris. No network meta-analytic study has been published to evaluate the efficacies of these antianginal drugs. Current clinical guidelines (eg, National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) clinical guideline 126) are only based on the findings of limited clinical trials and pairwise meta-analysis. This study aims to fill this gap of research by conducting a Bayesian network meta-analysis to compare all these antianginal drugs.


Randomised controlled trials (RCT) on the drug therapy of stable angina pectoris with multiple outcome measures, selected from symptomatic relief, ECG tests, exercise tests, heart rates and blood pressures, etc, will be included. Overall effect sizes will be represented as mean differences with 95% credible intervals (CrI) for continuous outcome data and as ORs with 95% CrI for dichotomous outcome data. Bayesian network meta-analysis by WinBUGS will be conducted to compare the efficacies of these drugs. Sensitivity analysis on the quality of RCTs and subgroup analysis on the category of included drugs will be performed.


Ethical approval is not required because this study includes no confidential personal data and interventions on the patients. Network meta-analysis is based on the RCT reports of eligible drugs in treating stable angina pectoris. The results of this study will be disseminated by an open access and peer-reviewed publication.


PROSPERO CRD42014007113.

Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to

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