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School of Medicine




Objective To propose and assess a composite endpoint (CE) of neonatal benefit based on neonatal mortality and morbidities by gestational age (GA) for use in preterm labor clinical trials. Study Design A descriptive, retrospective analysis of the Medical University of South Carolina Perinatal Information System database was conducted. Neonatal morbidities were assessed for inclusion in the CE based on clinical significance/risk of childhood neurodevelopmental impairment, frequency, and association with GA in a mother– neonate linked cohort, comprising women with uncomplicated singleton pregnancies delivered at !24 weeks’ GA.

Results Among 17,912 mother–neonate pairs, neonates were at a risk of numerous severe but infrequent morbidities. Clinically important, predominantly rare events were combined into a CE comprising neonatal mortality and morbidities, which decreased in frequency with increasing GA. The highest CE frequency occurred at <31 weeks. High frequency of respiratory distress syndrome, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and sepsis drove the CE. Median length of hospital stay was longer at all GAs in those with the CE compared with those without.

Conclusions Descriptive epidemiological assessment and clinical input were used to develop a CE to measure neonatal benefit, comprising clinically meaningful outcomes. These empirical data and CE allowed trials investigating tocolytics to be sized appropriately.

Source Citation

Pimenta, J., Ebeling, M., Montague, T., Beach, K., Abell, J., O’Shea, M., … Hulsey, T. (2018). A Retrospective Database Analysis of Neonatal Morbidities to Evaluate a Composite Endpoint for Use in Preterm Labor Clinical Trials. American Journal of Perinatology Reports, 8(1), e25–e32.


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