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1.  Clinical prediction models for bronchopulmonary dysplasia: a systematic review and external validation study 
BMC Pediatrics  2013;13:207.
Background
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a common complication of preterm birth. Very different models using clinical parameters at an early postnatal age to predict BPD have been developed with little extensive quantitative validation. The objective of this study is to review and validate clinical prediction models for BPD.
Methods
We searched the main electronic databases and abstracts from annual meetings. The STROBE instrument was used to assess the methodological quality. External validation of the retrieved models was performed using an individual patient dataset of 3229 patients at risk for BPD. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to assess discrimination for each model by calculating the area under the curve (AUC). Calibration was assessed for the best discriminating models by visually comparing predicted and observed BPD probabilities.
Results
We identified 26 clinical prediction models for BPD. Although the STROBE instrument judged the quality from moderate to excellent, only four models utilised external validation and none presented calibration of the predictive value. For 19 prediction models with variables matched to our dataset, the AUCs ranged from 0.50 to 0.76 for the outcome BPD. Only two of the five best discriminating models showed good calibration.
Conclusions
External validation demonstrates that, except for two promising models, most existing clinical prediction models are poor to moderate predictors for BPD. To improve the predictive accuracy and identify preterm infants for future intervention studies aiming to reduce the risk of BPD, additional variables are required. Subsequently, that model should be externally validated using a proper impact analysis before its clinical implementation.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-13-207
PMCID: PMC3878731  PMID: 24345305
Prediction rules; Prognostic models; Calibration; Discrimination; Preterm infants; Chronic lung disease
2.  Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of medication in asphyxiated newborns during controlled hypothermia. The PharmaCool multicenter study 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:45.
Background
In the Netherlands, perinatal asphyxia (severe perinatal oxygen shortage) necessitating newborn resuscitation occurs in at least 200 of the 180–185.000 newly born infants per year. International randomized controlled trials have demonstrated an improved neurological outcome with therapeutic hypothermia. During hypothermia neonates receive sedative, analgesic, anti-epileptic and antibiotic drugs. So far little information is available how the pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) of these drugs are influenced by post resuscitation multi organ failure and the metabolic effects of the cooling treatment itself. As a result, evidence based dosing guidelines are lacking. This multicenter observational cohort study was designed to answer the question how hypothermia influences the distribution, metabolism and elimination of commonly used drugs in neonatal intensive care.
Methods/Design
Multicenter cohort study. All term neonates treated with hypothermia for Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) resulting from perinatal asphyxia in all ten Dutch Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) will be eligible for this study. During hypothermia and rewarming blood samples will be taken from indwelling catheters to investigate blood concentrations of several antibiotics, analgesics, sedatives and anti-epileptic drugs. For each individual drug the population PK will be characterized using Nonlinear Mixed Effects Modelling (NONMEM). It will be investigated how clearance and volume of distribution are influenced by hypothermia also taking maturation of neonate into account. Similarly, integrated PK-PD models will be developed relating the time course of drug concentration to pharmacodynamic parameters such as successful seizure treatment; pain assessment and infection clearance.
Discussion
On basis of the derived population PK-PD models dosing guidelines will be developed for the application of drugs during neonatal hypothermia treatment. The results of this study will lead to an evidence based drug treatment of hypothermic neonatal patients. Results will be published in a national web based evidence based paediatric formulary, peer reviewed journals and international paediatric drug references.
Trial registration
NTR2529.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-12-45
PMCID: PMC3358232  PMID: 22515424
Perinatal asphyxia, Therapeutic hypothermia; Pharmacokinetic research; Drug monitoring; Evidence based; Drug dosing; Guideline
3.  Systemic hydrocortisone to prevent bronchopulmonary dysplasia in preterm infants (the SToP-BPD study); a multicenter randomized placebo controlled trial 
BMC Pediatrics  2011;11:102.
Background
Randomized controlled trials have shown that treatment of chronically ventilated preterm infants after the first week of life with dexamethasone reduces the incidence of the combined outcome death or bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). However, there are concerns that dexamethasone may increase the risk of adverse neurodevelopmental outcome. Hydrocortisone has been suggested as an alternative therapy. So far no randomized controlled trial has investigated its efficacy when administered after the first week of life to ventilated preterm infants.
Methods/Design
The SToP-BPD trial is a randomized double blind placebo controlled multicenter study including 400 very low birth weight infants (gestational age < 30 weeks and/or birth weight < 1250 grams), who are ventilator dependent at a postnatal age of 7 - 14 days. Hydrocortisone (cumulative dose 72.5 mg/kg) or placebo is administered during a 22 day tapering schedule. Primary outcome measure is the combined outcome mortality or BPD at 36 weeks postmenstrual age. Secondary outcomes are short term effects on the pulmonary condition, adverse effects during hospitalization, and long-term neurodevelopmental sequelae assessed at 2 years corrected gestational age. Analysis will be on an intention to treat basis.
Discussion
This trial will determine the efficacy and safety of postnatal hydrocortisone administration at a moderately early postnatal onset compared to placebo for the reduction of the combined outcome mortality and BPD at 36 weeks postmenstrual age in ventilator dependent preterm infants.
Trial registration number
Netherlands Trial Register (NTR): NTR2768
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-11-102
PMCID: PMC3245429  PMID: 22070744
4.  A systematic review of the reporting of Data Monitoring Committees' roles, interim analysis and early termination in pediatric clinical trials 
BMC Pediatrics  2009;9:77.
Background
Decisions about interim analysis and early stopping of clinical trials, as based on recommendations of Data Monitoring Committees (DMCs), have far reaching consequences for the scientific validity and clinical impact of a trial. Our aim was to evaluate the frequency and quality of the reporting on DMC composition and roles, interim analysis and early termination in pediatric trials.
Methods
We conducted a systematic review of randomized controlled clinical trials published from 2005 to 2007 in a sample of four general and four pediatric journals. We used full-text databases to identify trials which reported on DMCs, interim analysis or early termination, and included children or adolescents. Information was extracted on general trial characteristics, risk of bias, and a set of parameters regarding DMC composition and roles, interim analysis and early termination.
Results
110 of the 648 pediatric trials in this sample (17%) reported on DMC or interim analysis or early stopping, and were included; 68 from general and 42 from pediatric journals. The presence of DMCs was reported in 89 of the 110 included trials (81%); 62 papers, including 46 of the 89 that reported on DMCs (52%), also presented information about interim analysis. No paper adequately reported all DMC parameters, and nine (15%) reported all interim analysis details. Of 32 trials which terminated early, 22 (69%) did not report predefined stopping guidelines and 15 (47%) did not provide information on statistical monitoring methods.
Conclusions
Reporting on DMC composition and roles, on interim analysis results and on early termination of pediatric trials is incomplete and heterogeneous. We propose a minimal set of reporting parameters that will allow the reader to assess the validity of trial results.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-9-77
PMCID: PMC2801486  PMID: 20003383
5.  Elective high-frequency oscillatory ventilation in preterm infants with respiratory distress syndrome: an individual patient data meta-analysis 
BMC Pediatrics  2009;9:33.
Background
Despite the considerable amount of evidence from randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses, uncertainty remains regarding the efficacy and safety of high-frequency oscillatory ventilation as compared to conventional ventilation in the early treatment of respiratory distress syndrome in preterm infants. This results in a wide variation in the clinical use of high-frequency oscillatory ventilation for this indication throughout the world. The reasons are an unexplained heterogeneity between trial results and a number of unanswered, clinically important questions. Do infants with different risk profiles respond differently to high-frequency oscillatory ventilation? How does the ventilation strategy affect outcomes? Does the delay – either from birth or from the moment of intubation – to the start of high-frequency oscillation modify the effect of the intervention? Instead of doing new trials, those questions can be addressed by re-analyzing the individual patient data from the existing randomized controlled trials.
Methods/Design
A systematic review with meta-analysis based on individual patient data. This involves the central collection, validation and re-analysis of the original individual data from each infant included in each randomized controlled trial addressing this question.
The study objective is to estimate the effect of high-frequency oscillatory ventilation on the risk for the combined outcome of death or bronchopulmonary dysplasia or a severe adverse neurological event. In addition, it will explore whether the effect of high-frequency oscillatory ventilation differs by the infant's risk profile, defined by gestational age, intrauterine growth restriction, severity of lung disease at birth and whether or not corticosteroids were given to the mother prior to delivery. Finally, it will explore the importance of effect modifying factors such as the ventilator device, ventilation strategy and the delay to the start of high-frequency ventilation.
Discussion
An international collaborative group, the PreVILIG Collaboration (Prevention of Ventilator Induced Lung Injury Group), has been formed with the investigators of the original randomized trials to conduct this systematic review. In the field of neonatology, individual patient data meta-analysis has not been used previously. Final results are expected to be available by the end of 2009.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-9-33
PMCID: PMC2698824  PMID: 19445701

Results 1-5 (5)