OBJECTIVE: Large abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) present a significant mortality risk. While numerous medical interventions have been proposed, no drugs have convincingly reduced AAA progression, rupture rates, or repair risk. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to assess the impact of repurposed drugs or dietary supplements on slowing expansion rates, reducing the risk of rupture, or minimising the risk of repair for individuals with AAA.
METHODS: A systematic search was conducted in five databases. Both observational studies and randomised controlled trials were included. Unpublished data from two screening trials were incorporated. Risk of bias was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa scale and revised Cochrane risk of bias tool. Meta-analyses were performed for each identified drug subclass and were stratified by overall risk of bias. Results were reported following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines.
RESULTS: Of 7 484 screened studies, 39 met the inclusion criteria. No studies on dietary supplements were included. A total of 84 cohorts were derived from the included studies, and twelve distinct drug groups underwent meta-analyses. Two drug groups, metformin and statins, were statistically significant in slowing AAA growth. No low risk of bias studies were included for these two drug groups, and the results had very high heterogeneity (I 2 > 80%). Both groups had a GRADE certainty of very low. Metformin, excluding high risk of bias studies, presented an estimated mean growth difference of AAA diameter between users and non-users of -0.73 mm/year, whilst statins had an overall estimated mean difference of -0.84 mm/year.
CONCLUSION: This systematic review and meta-analysis suggests that metformin and statins may provide some effect in slowing AAA progression. However, no definitive evidence was found for any of the investigated drugs included in this study. Further research is needed to identify effective medical treatments for AAA progression with more robust methodology.
|European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
|E-pub ahead of print - 25. Nov 2023