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Quality and validity of large animal experiments in stroke: A systematic review

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  • Leona Kringe
  • Emily S Sena
  • Edith Motschall
  • Zsanett Bahor
  • Qianying Wang
  • Andrea M Herrmann
  • Christoph Mülling
  • Stephan Meckel
  • Johannes Boltze

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271678X20931062
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2020


An important factor for successful translational stroke research is study quality. Low-quality studies are at risk of biased results and effect overestimation, as has been intensely discussed for small animal stroke research. However, little is known about the methodological rigor and quality in large animal stroke models, which are becoming more frequently used in the field. Based on research in two databases, this systematic review surveys and analyses the methodological quality in large animal stroke research. Quality analysis was based on the Stroke Therapy Academic Industry Roundtable and the Animals in Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments guidelines. Our analysis revealed that large animal models are utilized with similar shortcomings as small animal models. Moreover, translational benefits of large animal models may be limited due to lacking implementation of important quality criteria such as randomization, allocation concealment, and blinded assessment of outcome. On the other hand, an increase of study quality over time and a positive correlation between study quality and journal impact factor were identified. Based on the obtained findings, we derive recommendations for optimal study planning, conducting, and data analysis/reporting when using large animal stroke models to fully benefit from the translational advantages offered by these models.

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