COllaborative Neonatal Network for the first European CPAM Trial (CONNECT): a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

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Consensus is lacking on the optimal management of asymptomatic congenital pulmonary airway malformation (CPAM). For future studies, the CONNECT consortium (the COllaborative Neonatal Network for the first European CPAM Trial)-an international collaboration of specialised caregivers-has established consensus on a core outcome set of outcome parameters concerning respiratory insufficiency, surgical complications, mass effect and multifocal disease. These outcome parameters have been incorporated in the CONNECT trial, a randomised controlled trial which, in order to develop evidence-based practice, aims to compare conservative and surgical management of patients with an asymptomatic CPAM.


Children are eligible for inclusion after the CPAM diagnosis has been confirmed on postnatal chest CT scan and they remain asymptomatic. On inclusion, children are randomised to receive either conservative or surgical management. Subsequently, children in both groups are enrolled into a standardised, 5-year follow-up programme with three visits, including a repeat chest CT scan at 2.5 years and a standardised exercise tolerance test at 5 years.The primary outcome is exercise tolerance at age 5 years, measured according to the Bruce treadmill protocol. Secondary outcome measures are molecular genetic diagnostics, validated questionnaires-on parental anxiety, quality of life and healthcare consumption-, repeated imaging and pulmonary morbidity during follow-up, as well as surgical complications and histopathology. This trial aims to end the continuous debate surrounding the optimal management of asymptomatic CPAM. 


This study is being conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. The Medical Ethics Review Board of Erasmus University Medical Centre Rotterdam, The Netherlands, has approved this protocol (MEC-2022-0441). Results will be disseminated through peer-reviewed scientific journals and conference presentations. 



Original languageEnglish
Article numbere071989
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2023

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© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.


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