Approaches to interpreting and choosing the best treatments in network meta-analyses

Syst Rev. 2017 Apr 12;6(1):79. doi: 10.1186/s13643-017-0473-z.


When randomized trials have addressed multiple interventions for the same health problem, network meta-analyses (NMAs) permit researchers to statistically pool data from individual studies including evidence from both direct and indirect comparisons. Grasping the significance of the results of NMAs may be very challenging. Authors may present the findings from such analyses in several numerical and graphical ways. In this paper, we discuss ranking strategies and visual depictions of rank, including the surface under the cumulative ranking (SUCRA) curve method. We present ranking approaches' merits and limitations and provide an example of how to apply the results of a NMA to clinical practice.

Keywords: Advantages; Limitations; Network meta-analysis; Ranking; SUCRA.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Data Interpretation, Statistical*
  • Humans
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Sepsis / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome