Animal studies still play a crucial role in research aimed at improving human health care. When performing animal studies, the results and their interpretation are not always straightforward. No single study is executed perfectly in all steps, there are several possible sources of bias, and many of the animal studies are replicates of studies conducted previously. Meta-analysis (MA) can be used to combine the results of individual studies and may lead to more reliable conclusions and a reduction of unnecessary duplication of animal studies. In addition, due to the more explorative nature of animal studies as compared to clinical trials, MA of animal studies have a greater potential in exploring possible sources of heterogeneity.
In this presentation the main principles and practices for MA of experimental animal studies will be discussed.