We will use an adaptation of the Collaborative Approach to Meta Analysis and Review of Animal Data from Experimental Studies (CAMARADES) tool (See Additional file 3) for risk of bias assessment [32]. The same two reviewers who abstracted data will independently assess the risk of bias. The domains evaluated are (i) selection bias (inclusion and exclusion criteria, randomization), (ii) information bias (blinding of outcome assessment), (iii) confounding (blinding of induction to cerebral lesions and care during the follow-up, comorbidities, temperature control, anesthesia agents), and (iv) other bias or considerations (selective reporting, conflict of interest, sample size, peer-reviewed publications, animal welfare). The assessment of criteria for animals to enter the study and the assessment of selective reporting are the two elements that we added to the original tool.

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