Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Motor Recovery for Patients With Stroke: A PRISMA Compliant Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis


American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. 99(2):99-108, 2020 02.

He Y; Li K; Chen Q; Yin J; Bai D

A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted to determine the efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in recovering motor function in patients with stroke.

A comprehensive literature search was performed to identify studies published before September 20, 2018. Electronic databases were searched. Standard mean differences and 95% confidence intervals were used to evaluate the effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. The stability and sensitivity of the results and sources of heterogeneity were also analyzed. The Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool was used to determine the quality of the studies.

Twenty randomized controlled trials (N = 841 patients) were included. The results showed that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation is beneficial to patients with poststroke hemiplegia, as demonstrated by the following four scales: the Fugl-Meyer Assessment (standard mean difference = 0.635, 95% confidence interval = 0.421 to 0.848); grip strength (standard mean difference = 1.147, 95% confidence interval = 0.761 to 1.534); Barthel Index (Standard mean difference = 0.580, 95% confidence interval = 0.377 to 0.783); and National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (standard mean difference = -0.555, 95% confidence interval = -0.813 to -0.298). Few adverse events were observed.

The analysis showed that low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation has a positive effect on grip strength and lower limb function as assessed by FMA.