To compare the short-term effectiveness of corticosteroids, 5% dextrose(D5W), and
platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections for treating carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).
Four databases (MEDLINE (PubMed), Embase, the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register,
and Web of Science (WOS)) were researched from inception to the 1st of April 2022.
Two authors independently screened the literature to identify the RCTs meeting the
included criteria, which involved comparing corticosteroid, 5% dextrose water (D5W),
and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection with each other or placebo-controlled for
The two reviewers independently conducted information extraction, the outcomes included
were the changes in Symptom Severity Scale (SSS), Function Status Scale (FSS), and
Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) at short-term follow-up after drug injection treatment
and any adverse events reported.
Twelve randomized controlled trials with 749patients (817 hands) were included. The
results of this study suggested that PRP injection was the most likely to relieve
symptoms, improve functions and alleviate pain, with the SUCRA being 91.5%, 92.7%,
and 80.8%, respectively, followed by D5W injection (74.4%, 72.2%, 72.1%), and corticosteroid
injection (33.7%, 31.9%, 46.2%). The injection of three drugs was significantly better
than that of a placebo.
From the results of the network meta-analysis, PRP injection is the most recommended
treatment among the injection of corticosteroid, D5W, and PRP.
The protocol of this network meta-analysis has been registered in PROSPERO with registration