Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial: Treatment of early intrauterine growth restriction with low molecular weight heparin (TRACIP)

BMJ Open 8(10):e020501 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020501

Introduction: The incidence of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is estimated at about 3% of pregnancies, and it is associated with 30% of all perinatal mortality and severe morbidity with adverse neurodevelopmental and cardiovascular health consequences in adult life. Early onset IUGR represents 20%-30% of all cases and is highly associated with severe placental insufficiency. The existing evidence suggests that low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) has effects beyond its antithrombotic action, improving placental microvessel structure and function of pregnant women with vascular obstetric complications by normalising proangiogenic and antiapoptotic protein levels, cytokines and inflammatory factors. The objective of our study is to demonstrate the effectiveness of LMWH in prolonging gestation in pregnancies with early-onset IUGR. Methods and analysis: This is a multicentre, triple-blind, parallel-arm randomised clinical trial. Singleton pregnancies qualifying for early (20-32 weeks at diagnosis) placental IUGR (according to Delphi criteria) will be randomised to subcutaneous treatment with bemiparin 3500 IU/0.2 mL/day or placebo from inclusion at diagnosis to the time of delivery. Analyses will be based on originally assigned groups (intention-to-treat). The primary objective will be analysed by comparing gestational age and prolongation of pregnancy (days) in each group with Student's t-tests for independent samples and by comparing Kaplan-Maier survival curves (from inclusion to delivery, log-rank test). A linear regression model for gestational age at birth will consider the following covariates: gestational age at inclusion (continuous) and pre-eclampsia (binary). Ethics and dissemination: The study will be conducted in accordance with the principles of Good Clinical Practice. This study was approved by the Clinical Research Ethics Committee (CEIC) of Sant Joan de Déu Hospital, on 13 July 2017. The trial is registered in the public registry according to Science Law 14/2011, and the results will be published in an open access journal. Trial registration number: NCT03324139; Pre-results.