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1.  Midtrimester preterm prelabour rupture of membranes (PPROM): expectant management or amnioinfusion for improving perinatal outcomes (PPROMEXIL – III trial) 
Babies born after midtrimester preterm prelabour rupture of membranes (PPROM) are at risk to develop neonatal pulmonary hypoplasia. Perinatal mortality and morbidity after this complication is high. Oligohydramnios in the midtrimester following PPROM is considered to cause a delay in lung development. Repeated transabdominal amnioinfusion with the objective to alleviate oligohydramnios might prevent this complication and might improve neonatal outcome.
Women with PPROM and persisting oligohydramnios between 16 and 24 weeks gestational age will be asked to participate in a multi-centre randomised controlled trial. Intervention: random allocation to (repeated) abdominal amnioinfusion (intervention) or expectant management (control). The primary outcome is perinatal mortality. Secondary outcomes are lethal pulmonary hypoplasia, non-lethal pulmonary hypoplasia, survival till discharge from NICU, neonatal mortality, chronic lung disease (CLD), number of days ventilatory support, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), periventricular leucomalacia (PVL) more than grade I, severe intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) more than grade II, proven neonatal sepsis, gestational age at delivery, time to delivery, indication for delivery, successful amnioinfusion, placental abruption, cord prolapse, chorioamnionitis, fetal trauma due to puncture. The study will be evaluated according to intention to treat. To show a decrease in perinatal mortality from 70% to 35%, we need to randomise two groups of 28 women (two sided test, β-error 0.2 and α-error 0.05).
This study will answer the question if (repeated) abdominal amnioinfusion after midtrimester PPROM with associated oligohydramnios improves perinatal survival and prevents pulmonary hypoplasia and other neonatal morbidities. Moreover, it will assess the risks associated with this procedure.
Trial registration
NTR3492 Dutch Trial Register (
PMCID: PMC3997228  PMID: 24708702
PPROM; Oligohydramnios; Amnioinfusion; Perinatal mortality; Pulmonary hypoplasia
2.  SIMPLE: implementation of recommendations from international evidence-based guidelines on caesarean sections in the Netherlands. Protocol for a controlled before and after study 
Caesarean section (CS) rates are rising worldwide. In the Netherlands, the most significant rise is observed in healthy women with a singleton in vertex position between 37 and 42 weeks gestation, whereas it is doubtful whether an improved outcome for the mother or her child was obtained. It can be hypothesized that evidence-based guidelines on CS are not implemented sufficiently.
Therefore, the present study has the following objectives: to develop quality indicators on the decision to perform a CS based on key recommendations from national and international guidelines; to use the quality indicators in order to gain insight into actual adherence of Dutch gynaecologists to guideline recommendations on the performance of a CS; to explore barriers and facilitators that have a direct effect on guideline application regarding CS; and to develop, execute, and evaluate a strategy in order to reduce the CS incidence for a similar neonatal outcome (based on the information gathered in the second and third objectives).
An independent expert panel of Dutch gynaecologists and midwives will develop a set of quality indicators on the decision to perform a CS. These indicators will be used to measure current care in 20 hospitals with a population of 1,000 women who delivered by CS, and a random selection of 1,000 women who delivered vaginally in the same period. Furthermore, by interviewing healthcare professionals and patients, the barriers and facilitators that may influence the decision to perform a CS will be measured. Based on the results, a tailor-made implementation strategy will be developed and tested in a controlled before-and-after study in 12 hospitals (six intervention, six control hospitals) with regard to effectiveness, experiences, and costs.
This study will offer insight into the current CS care and into the hindering and facilitating factors influencing obstetrical policy on CS. Furthermore, it will allow definition of patient categories or situations in which a tailor-made implementation strategy will most likely be meaningful and cost effective, without negatively affecting the outcome for mother and child.
Trial registration NCT01261676
PMCID: PMC3547819  PMID: 23281646
3.  Remifentanil patient controlled analgesia versus epidural analgesia in labour. A multicentre randomized controlled trial 
Pain relief during labour is a topic of major interest in the Netherlands. Epidural analgesia is considered to be the most effective method of pain relief and recommended as first choice. However its uptake by pregnant women is limited compared to other western countries, partly as a result of non-availability due to logistic problems. Remifentanil, a synthetic opioid, is very suitable for patient controlled analgesia. Recent studies show that epidural analgesia is superior to remifentanil patient controlled analgesia in terms of pain intensity score; however there was no difference in satisfaction with pain relief between both treatments.
The proposed study is a multicentre randomized controlled study that assesses the cost-effectiveness of remifentanil patient controlled analgesia compared to epidural analgesia. We hypothesize that remifentanil patient controlled analgesia is as effective in improving pain appreciation scores as epidural analgesia, with lower costs and easier achievement of 24 hours availability of pain relief for women in labour and efficient pain relief for those with a contraindication for epidural analgesia.
Eligible women will be informed about the study and randomized before active labour has started. Women will be randomly allocated to a strategy based on epidural analgesia or on remifentanil patient controlled analgesia when they request pain relief during labour. Primary outcome is the pain appreciation score, i.e. satisfaction with pain relief.
Secondary outcome parameters are costs, patient satisfaction, pain scores (pain-intensity), mode of delivery and maternal and neonatal side effects.
The economic analysis will be performed from a short-term healthcare perspective. For both strategies the cost of perinatal care for mother and child, starting at the onset of labour and ending ten days after delivery, will be registered and compared.
This study, considering cost effectiveness of remifentanil as first choice analgesia versus epidural analgesia, could strongly improve the care for 180.000 women, giving birth in the Netherlands yearly by giving them access to pain relief during labour, 24 hours a day.
Trial registration number
Dutch Trial Register NTR2551,
PMCID: PMC3464937  PMID: 22748068
Analgesia; Labour; Remifentanil; Patient controlled analgesia; Epidural
4.  Induction of labour versus expectant monitoring for gestational hypertension or mild pre-eclampsia between 34 and 37 weeks' gestation (HYPITAT-II): a multicentre, open-label randomised controlled trial 
Gestational hypertension (GH) and pre-eclampsia (PE) can result in severe complications such as eclampsia, placental abruption, syndrome of Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes and Low Platelets (HELLP) and ultimately even neonatal or maternal death. We recently showed that in women with GH or mild PE at term induction of labour reduces both high risk situations for mothers as well as the caesarean section rate. In view of this knowledge, one can raise the question whether women with severe hypertension, pre-eclampsia or deterioration chronic hypertension between 34 and 37 weeks of gestation should be delivered or monitored expectantly. Induction of labour might prevent maternal complications. However, induction of labour in late pre-term pregnancy might increase neonatal morbidity and mortality compared with delivery at term.
Pregnant women with severe gestational hypertension, mild pre-eclampsia or deteriorating chronic hypertension at a gestational age between 34+0 and 36+6 weeks will be asked to participate in a multi-centre randomised controlled trial. Women will be randomised to either induction of labour or expectant monitoring. In the expectant monitoring arm, women will be induced only when the maternal or fetal condition detoriates or at 37+0 weeks of gestation. The primary outcome measure is a composite endpoint of maternal mortality, severe maternal complications (eclampsia, HELLP syndrome, pulmonary oedema and thromboembolic disease) and progression to severe pre-eclampsia. Secondary outcomes measures are respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), neonatal morbidity and mortality, caesarean section and vaginal instrumental delivery rates, maternal quality of life and costs. Analysis will be intention to treat. The power calculation is based on an expectant reduction of the maternal composite endpoint from 5% to 1% for an expected increase in neonatal RDS from 1% at 37 weeks to 10% at 34 weeks. This implies that 680 women have to be randomised.
This trial will provide insight as to whether in women with hypertensive disorders late pre-term, induction of labour is an effective treatment to prevent severe maternal complications without compromising the neonatal morbidity.
Trial Registration
NTR1792 Clinical trial registration:
PMCID: PMC3161905  PMID: 21736705
5.  Haemorrhagia post partum; an implementation study on the evidence-based guideline of the Dutch Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (NVOG) and the MOET (Managing Obstetric Emergencies and Trauma-course) instructions; the Fluxim study 
One of the most important causes of maternal mortality and severe morbidity worldwide is post partum haemorrhage (PPH). Factors as substandard care are frequently reported in the international literature and there are similar reports in the Netherlands. The incidence of PPH in the Dutch population is 5% containing 10.000 women a year. The introduction of an evidence-based guideline on PPH by the Dutch society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (NVOG) and the initiation of the MOET course (Managing Obstetrics Emergencies and Trauma) did not lead to a reduction of PPH. This implies the possibility of an incomplete implementation of both the NVOG guideline and MOET-instructions. Therefore, the aim of this study is to develop and test a tailored strategy to implement both the NVOG guideline and MOET-instructions
One step in the development procedure is to evaluate the implementation of the guideline and MOET-instructions in the current care. Therefore measurement of the actual care will be performed in a representative sample of 20 hospitals. This will be done by prospective observation of the third stage of labour of 320 women with a high risk of PPH using quality indicators extracted from the NVOG guideline and MOET instructions. In the next step barriers and facilitators for guideline adherence will be analyzed by performance of semi structured interviews with 30 professionals and 10 patients, followed by a questionnaire study among all Dutch gynaecologists and midwives to quantify the barriers mentioned. Based on the outcomes, a tailored strategy to implement the NVOG guideline and MOET-instructions will be developed and tested in a feasibility study in 4 hospitals, including effect-, process- and cost evaluation.
This study will provide insight into current Dutch practice, in particular to what extent the PPH guidelines of the NVOG and the MOET-instructions have been implemented in the actual care, and into the barriers and facilitators regarding guideline adherence. The knowledge of the feasibility study regarding the effects and costs of the tailored strategy and the experiences of the users can be used in countries with a relatively high incidence of PPH.
Trial Registration NCT00928863
PMCID: PMC2824637  PMID: 20102607
6.  Induction of labour versus expectant management in women with preterm prelabour rupture of membranes between 34 and 37 weeks (the PPROMEXIL-trial) 
Preterm prelabour rupture of the membranes (PPROM) is an important clinical problem and a dilemma for the gynaecologist. On the one hand, awaiting spontaneous labour increases the probability of infectious disease for both mother and child, whereas on the other hand induction of labour leads to preterm birth with an increase in neonatal morbidity (e.g., respiratory distress syndrome (RDS)) and a possible rise in the number of instrumental deliveries.
We aim to determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of immediate delivery after PPROM in near term gestation compared to expectant management. Pregnant women with preterm prelabour rupture of the membranes at a gestational age from 34+0 weeks until 37+0 weeks will be included in a multicentre prospective randomised controlled trial. We will compare early delivery with expectant monitoring.
The primary outcome of this study is neonatal sepsis. Secondary outcome measures are maternal morbidity (chorioamnionitis, puerperal sepsis) and neonatal disease, instrumental delivery rate, maternal quality of life, maternal preferences and costs. We anticipate that a reduction of neonatal infection from 7.5% to 2.5% after induction will outweigh an increase in RDS and additional costs due to admission of the child due to prematurity. Under these assumptions, we aim to randomly allocate 520 women to two groups of 260 women each. Analysis will be by intention to treat. Additionally a cost-effectiveness analysis will be performed to evaluate if the cost related to early delivery will outweigh those of expectant management. Long term outcomes will be evaluated using modelling.
This trial will provide evidence as to whether induction of labour after preterm prelabour rupture of membranes is an effective and cost-effective strategy to reduce the risk of neonatal sepsis.
Controlled clinical trial register
PMCID: PMC1934382  PMID: 17617892

Results 1-6 (6)