Two independent reviewers (LZQ and LS) search the published literature with search topics (P + I + C +O + S, P + I + C + O, and P + I + O), which we hope we could search for literature related to SFI on HF treatment as comprehensively as possible via 4 English databases (MEDLINE via PubMed, the Cochrane Library, EMBASE, the Web of Science) and 4 Chinese databases (the China Science and Technology Journal Database, Chinese Biomedical Literature Database, Wan-fang Database, the China National Knowledge Infrastructure.) from October 2005 to June 2019. The other 2 reviewers (JM and DYB) will screen all hits independently according to the titles and abstracts. Full texts of potentially eligible articles will be downloaded for full-text review and further evaluation. Studies with incomplete or insufficient detail in results or methods will be excluded, any exclusion of the article would be explained in the systematic review and meta-analysis flow diagram (as Fig. Fig.1).1). Any disagreement will be resolved by discussion and consensus among reviewers.

PRISMA flow chart of study selection process in the systematic review.

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