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Research paper
Predictors of survival in progressive supranuclear palsy and multiple system atrophy: a systematic review and meta-analysis
  1. Stella Andrea Glasmacher1,
  2. Peter Nigel Leigh2,
  3. Romi Anirban Saha3
  1. 1 Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Brighton, UK
  2. 2 Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Brighton, UK
  3. 3 Hurstwood Park Neurological Centre, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals, Brighton, UK
  1. Correspondence to Miss Stella Andrea Glasmacher, BSMS Teaching Building, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9PX; stellaglasmacher{at}


Objective To undertake a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that investigated prognostic factors and survival in patients with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and multiple system atrophy (MSA).

Methods Publications of at least 10 patients with a likely or confirmed diagnosis of PSP or MSA were eligible for inclusion. Methodological quality was rated using a modified version of the Quality in Prognostic Studies tool. For frequently examined prognostic factors, HRs derived by univariate and multivariate analysis were pooled in separate subgroups; other results were synthesised narratively and HRs could not be reported here.

Results Thirty-seven studies presenting findings on 6193 patients (1911 PSP, 4282 MSA) fulfilled the inclusion criteria. We identified the following variables as unfavourable predictors of survival. In PSP, PSP-Richardson’s phenotype (univariate HR 2.53; 95% CI 1.69 to 3.78), early dysphagia and early cognitive symptoms. In MSA, severe dysautonomia and early development of combined autonomic and motor features but not MSA phenotype (multivariate HR 1.22; 95% CI 0.83 to 1.80).

In PSP and MSA, survival was predicted by early falls (multivariate HR 2.32; 95% CI 1.94 to 2.77), the Neuroprotection and Natural History in Parkinson Plus Syndromes Parkinson Plus Score and the Clinical Global Impression Disease Severity Score but not sex (multivariate HR 0.93; 95% CI 0.67 to 1.28). There was conflicting evidence regarding the prognostic effect of age at onset and stridor.

Conclusion Several clinical variables were strongly associated with shorter survival in PSP and MSA. Results on most prognostic factors were consistent across methodologically diverse studies; however, the lack of commonality of prognostic factors investigated is a significant limitation.

  • Progressive supranuclear palsy
  • multiple system atrophy
  • survival
  • prognosis
  • prognostic factors
  • systematic review
  • meta-analysis

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  • Contributor SAG performed the study selection, risk of bias assessment, data extraction, statistical analysis and drafted the manuscript. RAS reviewed a random sample of five papers. All authors participated in study design, revised the protocol, contributed to interpretation of the results, critically revised the manuscript for important intellectual content, read and approved the final version of this manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.