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Table 2 (A) NMA and TMA results for menstrual frequency, total testosterone, BMI, and glycometabolism; (B) NMA and TMA results for lipid levels and gastrointestinal adverse events

From: Comparative efficacy of oral insulin sensitizers metformin, thiazolidinediones, inositol, and berberine in improving endocrine and metabolic profiles in women with PCOS: a network meta-analysis

Outcomes Studies Participants Traditional pairwise meta-analysis (TMA) Network meta-analysis (NMA)
Heterogeneity Effect estimate (95% CI) Studies Effect estimate (95% CI)
(A)
Menstrual frequency
 TZDs vs Met 6 299 (P = 0.002); I2 = 74% 1.17 [0.43, 3.17] 7 1.20 [0.52, 2.76]
 TZDs + Met vs Met 3 167 (P = 0.88); I2 = 0% 3.91 [1.75, 8.72] 3 2.41 [0.75, 7.71]
 MI vs Met 1 46 Not applicable 1.11 [0.24, 5.11] 4 0.89 [0.14, 5.56]
 MI + DCI vs Met 1 64 Not applicable 11.67 [2.37, 57.36] 3 14.70 [2.31, 93.58]
 MI + DCI vs MI 2 44 (P = 0.38); I2 = 0% 21.92 [2.99, 160.44] 3 16.51 [2.56, 106.64]
TT
 TZDs vs Met 7 322 (P = 0.22); I2 = 27% 5.27 [0.98, 9.55] 8 3.90 [1.10, 6.71]
 TZDs + Met vs Met 4 307 (P = 0.44); I2 = 0% − 3.14 [− 6.19, − 0.09] 4 − 3.66 [− 6.60, − 0.72]
 MI vs Met 2 120 (P = 0.66); I2 = 0% 0.31 [− 0.69, 1.32] 6 0.37 [− 0.63, 1.37]
 MI + DCI vs Met 1 64 Not applicable − 5.48 [− 10.27, − 0.69] 3 − 6.72 [− 10.24, − 3.20]
 BBR + Met vs Met 2 140 (P = 1.00); I2 = 0% − 11.53 [− 16.91, − 6.15] 2 − 11.53 [− 16.91, − 6.15]
 MI + DCI vs MI 2 72 (P = 0.63); I2 = 0% − 8.50 [− 13.60, − 3.40] 3 − 7.09 [− 10.62, − 3.56]
BMI
 TZDs vs Met 8 322 (P = 0.42); I2 = 1% 1.26 [0.78, 1.75] 7 1.23 [0.75, 1.70]
 TZDs + Met vs Met 4 171 (P = 0.68); I2 = 0% − 0.03 [− 1.02, 0.95] 3 0.22 [− 0.71, 1.14]
 MI vs Met 5 279 (P = 0.47); I2 = 0% 0.28 [0.06, 0.50] 8 0.29 [0.09, 0.49]
 MI + DCI vs Met / / / / 3 − 0.19 [− 1.61, 1.23]
 BBR + Met vs Met 2 140 (P = 0.32); I2 = 0% − 1.85 [− 2.76, − 0.94] 2 − 1.85 [− 2.76, − 0.94]
 MI + DCI vs MI 3 80 (P = 0.98); I2 = 0% − 0.48 [− 1.89, 0.93] 3 − 0.48 [− 1.89, 0.93]
FPG
 TZD vs Met 7 272 (P < 0.00001); I2 = 86% − 0.10 [− 0.21, 0.01] 5 − 0.12 [− 0.21, − 0.02]
 TZD + Met vs Met 5 307 (P = 0.79); I2 = 0% − 0.05 [− 0.15, 0.06] 5 0.00 [− 0.14, 0.15]
 MI vs Met 3 173 (P = 0.22); I2 = 34% − 0.05 [− 0.12, 0.02] 5 − 0.05 [− 0.19, 0.09]
 MI + DCI vs Met 1 64 Not applicable − 0.09 [− 0.17, − 0.01] 6 − 0.18 [− 0.37, 0.02]
 MI + DCI vs MI 2 72 (P = 0.22); I2 = 35% − 0.25 [− 0.56, 0.05] 3 − 0.13 [− 0.33, 0.08]
FINS
 TZDs vs Met 8 357 (P < 0.00001); I2 = 97% − 2.50 [− 6.23, 1.23] 7 − 2.38 [− 4.94, 0.19]
 TZDs + Met vs Met 4 259 (P = 0.19); I2 = 37% − 1.83 [− 3.12, − 0.55] 4 − 2.56 [− 6.03, 0.92]
 MI vs Met 3 173 (P = 0.23); I2 = 32% − 0.22 [− 0.75, 0.32] 5 − 0.40 [− 4.08, 3.27]
 MI + DCI vs Met 1 64 Not applicable − 1.37 [− 1.56, − 1.18] 3 − 1.38 [− 6.14, 3.38]
 MI + DCI vs MI 2 72 (P = 0.36); I2 = 0% − 0.76 [− 1.94, 0.42] 3 − 0.98 [− 5.28, 3.33]
HOMA-IR
 TZDs vs Met 6 317 (P < 0.00001); I2 = 97% − 0.92 [− 1.64, − 0.19] 4 − 0.72 [− 1.11, − 0.34]
 TZDs + Met vs Met 4 259 (P = 0.04); I2 = 65% − 0.85 [− 1.21, − 0.49] 4 − 0.86 [− 1.29, − 0.43]
 MI vs Met 4 219 (P = 0.004); I2 = 78% − 0.20 [− 0.42, 0.01] 6 − 0.28 [− 0.66, 0.10]
 MI + DCI vs Met 1 64 Not applicable − 1.15 [− 1.25, − 1.05] 3 − 0.89 [− 1.46, − 0.32]
 BBR + Met vs Met 2 140 (P = 0.37); I2 = 0% − 0.25 [− 0.36, − 0.14] 2 − 0.25 [− 0.81, 0.31]
 MI + DCI vs MI 2 72 (P = 0.97); I2 = 0% − 0.39 [− 0.83, 0.06] 3 − 0.61 [− 1.18, − 0.05]
(B)
TG
 TZDs vs Met 7 261 (P = 0.0002); I2 = 77% − 0.01 [− 0.19, 0.16] 7 − 0.66 [− 1.00, − 0.32]
 TZDs + Met vs Met 3 178 (P = 0.74); I2 = 0% − 0.24 [− 0.43, − 0.06] 3 − 0.08 [− 0.16, − 0.00]
 MI vs Met 3 173 (P = 0.60); I2 = 0% − 0.03 [− 0.06, 0.00] 3 0.14 [0.07, 0.21]
 MI + DCI vs Met 1 64 Not applicable − 0.08 [− 0.16, − 0.00] 4 0.21 [− 0.26, 0.68]
 TZDs + Met vs TZDs 2 88 (P = 0.10); I2 = 0% 0.15 [− 0.18, 0.48] 3 − 0.51 [− 0.88, − 0.14]
TC
 TZDs vs Met 8 346 (P < 0.00001); I2 = 93% − 0.06 [− 0.41, 0.29] 8 − 0.18 [− 0.46, 0.10]
 TZDs + Met vs Met 3 178 (P = 0.98); I2 = 0% − 0.30 [− 0.53, − 0.07] 3 − 0.15 [− 0.57, 0.27]
 MI vs Met 3 173 (P = 0.67); I2 = 0% 0.03 [− 0.01, 0.07] 3 0.19 [− 0.29, 0.66]
 MI + DCI vs Met 1 64 Not applicable − 0.07 [− 0.16, 0.02] 4 − 0.07 [− 0.69, 0.55]
HDL
 TZDs vs Met 8 346 (P < 0.00001); I2 = 96% 0.14 [− 0.03, 0.30] 8 0.13 [0.03, 0.24]
 TZDs + Met vs Met 4 259 (P = 0.53); I2 = 0% − 0.00 [− 0.09, 0.09] 4 0.05 [− 0.10, 0.20]
 MI vs Met 3 173 (P = 0.10); I2 = 57% 0.05 [0.03, 0.07] 3 0.02 [− 0.14, 0.17]
 MI + DCI vs Met 1 64 Not applicable 0.00 [− 0.11, 0.11] 4 0.00 [− 0.28, 0.28]
LDL
 TZDs vs Met 7 261 (P = 0.02); I2 = 59% − 0.11 [− 0.29, 0.08] 7 − 0.19 [− 0.27, − 0.11]
 TZDs + Met vs Met 4 259 (P = 0.96); I2 = 0% − 0.10 [− 0.25, 0.05] 4 − 0.08 [− 0.24, 0.07]
 MI vs Met 3 173 (P = 0.84); I2 = 0% 0.01 [− 0.03, 0.05] 3 0.01 [− 0.03, 0.05]
 MI + DCI vs Met 1 64 Not applicable − 0.07 [− 0.21, 0.07] 4 − 0.07 [− 0.21, 0.07]
Gastrointestinal adverse events
 TZDs vs Met 6 253 (P = 0.88); I2 = 0% 0.11 [0.03, 0.41] 6 0.13 [0.04, 0.46]
 TZDs + Met vs Met 3 237 (P = 0.33); I2 = 11% 0.67 [0.23, 1.93] 3 0.76 [0.25, 2.27]
 MI vs Met 1 50 Not applicable 0.13 [0.01, 2.58] 1 0.13 [0.01, 2.58]
 MI + DCI vs Met 1 64 Not applicable 0.08 [0.00, 1.45] 1 0.08 [0.00, 1.45]
 BBR vs Met 1 60 Not applicable 3.10 [0.12, 79.23] 1 3.10 [0.12, 79.23]
  1. Bolded results show statistical significance at the 0.05 level
  2. Met Metformin, TZDs thiazolidinediones, MI myo-inositol, DCI d-chiro-inositol, BBR berberine, TT total testosterone, BMI body mass index, FPG fasting plasma glucose, FINS fasting insulin, HOMA-IR Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance, TG triglyceride, TC total cholesterol, HDL-C high density lipoprotein cholesterol, LDL-C low density lipoprotein cholesterol