Paediatric Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Neuromuscular Blockade study (PAN-study): a phase IV randomised controlled trial of early neuromuscular blockade in moderate-to-severe paediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome

Michelle W. Rudolph, Sjoerdtje Slager, Johannes G.M. Burgerhof, Job B.M. van Woensel, Jan Willem C. Alffenaar, Roelie M. Wösten-van Asperen, Matthijs de Hoog, Marloes M. IJland, Martin C.J. Kneyber*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Paediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome (PARDS) is a manifestation of severe, life-threatening lung injury necessitating mechanical ventilation with mortality rates ranging up to 40-50%. Neuromuscular blockade agents (NMBAs) may be considered to prevent patient self-inflicted lung injury in PARDS patients, but two trials in adults with severe ARDS yielded conflicting results. To date, randomised controlled trials (RCT) examining the effectiveness and efficacy of NMBAs for PARDS are lacking. We hypothesise that using NMBAs for 48 h in paediatric patients younger than 5 years of age with early moderate-to-severe PARDS will lead to at least a 20% reduction in cumulative respiratory morbidity score 12 months after discharge from the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU).  

METHODS: This is a phase IV, multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial performed in level-3 PICUs in the Netherlands. Eligible for inclusion are children younger than 5 years of age requiring invasive mechanical ventilation with positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) ≥ 5 cm H2O for moderate-to-severe PARDS occurring within the first 96 h of PICU admission. Patients are randomised to continuous infusion of rocuronium bromide or placebo for 48 h. The primary endpoint is the cumulative respiratory morbidity score 12 months after PICU discharge, adjusted for confounding by age, gestational age, family history of asthma and/or allergy, season in which questionnaire was filled out, day-care and parental smoking. Secondary outcomes include respiratory mechanics, oxygenation and ventilation metrics, pulmonary and systemic inflammation markers, prevalence of critical illness polyneuropathy and myopathy and metrics for patient outcome including ventilator free days at day 28, length of PICU and hospital stay, and mortality  

DISCUSSION: This is the first paediatric trial evaluating the effects of muscular paralysis in moderate-to-severe PARDS. The proposed study addresses a huge research gap identified by the Paediatric Acute Lung Injury Consensus Collaborative by evaluating practical needs regarding the treatment of PARDS. Paediatric critical care practitioners are inclined to use interventions such as NMBAs in the most critically ill. This liberal use must be weighed against potential side effects. The proposed study will provide much needed scientific support in the decision-making to start NMBAs in moderate-to-severe PARDS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number96
Pages (from-to)96
Number of pages1
JournalTrials
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2022

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For the SKIC research consortium

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022. The Author(s).

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