Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) augmentation of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for SSRI-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Zhong-Rui Ma, Li-Jun Shi
International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine 2014, 7 (12): 4897-905

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) as augmentation of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for SSRI-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have yielded conflicting results. Therefore, this meta-analysis was conducted to assess the efficacy of this strategy for SSRI-resistant OCD.

METHODS: Scientific and medical databases, including international databases (PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CCTR, Web of Science, PsycINFO), two Chinese databases (CBM-disc, CNKI), and relevant websites dated up to July 2014, were searched for RCTs on this strategy for treating OCD. Mantel-Haenszel random-effects model was used. Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) score, response rates and drop-out rates were evaluated.

RESULTS: Data were obtained from nine RCTs consisting of 290 subjects. Active rTMS was an effective augmentation strategy in treating SSRI-resistant OCD with a pooled WMD of 3.89 (95% CI = [1.27, 6.50]) for reducing Y-BOCS score and a pooled odds ratio (OR) of 2.65 (95% CI = [1.36, 5.17] for response rates. No significant differences in drop-out rates were found. No publication bias was detected.

CONCLUSION: The pooled examination demonstrated that this strategy seems to be efficacious and acceptable for treating SSRI-resistant OCD. As the number of RCTs included here was limited, further large-scale multi-center RCTs are required to validate our conclusions.

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