Cumulating evidence from randomized trials: utilizing sequential monitoring boundaries for cumulative meta-analysis

Control Clin Trials. 1997 Dec;18(6):580-93; discussion 661-6. doi: 10.1016/s0197-2456(97)00051-2.


We propose the adaptation of classical monitoring boundaries for use in cumulative meta-analysis as guidelines for deciding when accumulating evidence is statistically significant and medically convincing. The interpretation of information from a randomized controlled trial is compared with that from a meta-analysis. The concept of optimal information size for a meta-analysis is developed and used to adapt monitoring boundaries to cumulative meta-analysis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Magnesium / therapeutic use
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic*
  • Methods
  • Myocardial Infarction / drug therapy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Stochastic Processes
  • Streptokinase / therapeutic use


  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Streptokinase
  • Magnesium