CeRebrUm and CardIac Protection with ALlopurinol in Neonates with Critical Congenital Heart Disease Requiring Cardiac Surgery with Cardiopulmonary Bypass (CRUCIAL): study protocol of a phase III, randomized, quadruple-blinded, placebo-controlled, Dutch multicenter trial

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Neonates with critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) are at risk of brain injury that may result in adverse neurodevelopment. To date, no therapy is available to improve long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes of CCHD neonates. Allopurinol, a xanthine oxidase inhibitor, prevents the formation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, thereby limiting cell damage during reperfusion and reoxygenation to the brain and heart. Animal and neonatal studies suggest that allopurinol reduces hypoxic-ischemic brain injury and is cardioprotective and safe. This trial aims to test the hypothesis that allopurinol administration in CCHD neonates will result in a 20% reduction in moderate to severe ischemic and hemorrhagic brain injury.

METHODS: This is a phase III, randomized, quadruple-blinded, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial. Neonates with a prenatal or postnatal CCHD diagnosis requiring cardiac surgery with CPB in the first 4 weeks after birth are eligible to participate. Allopurinol or mannitol-placebo will be administered intravenously in 2 doses early postnatally in neonates diagnosed antenatally and 3 doses perioperatively of 20 mg/kg each in all neonates. The primary outcome is a composite endpoint of moderate/severe ischemic or hemorrhagic brain injury on early postoperative MRI, being too unstable for postoperative MRI, or mortality within 1 month following CPB. A total of 236 patients (n = 188 with prenatal diagnosis) is required to demonstrate a reduction of the primary outcome incidence by 20% in the prenatal group and by 9% in the postnatal group (power 80%; overall type 1 error controlled at 5%, two-sided), including 1 interim analysis at n = 118 (n = 94 with prenatal diagnosis) with the option to stop early for efficacy. Secondary outcomes include preoperative and postoperative brain injury severity, white matter injury volume (MRI), and cardiac function (echocardiography); postnatal and postoperative seizure activity (aEEG) and regional cerebral oxygen saturation (NIRS); neurodevelopment at 3 months (general movements); motor, cognitive, and language development and quality of life at 24 months; and safety and cost-effectiveness of allopurinol.

DISCUSSION: This trial will investigate whether allopurinol administered directly after birth and around cardiac surgery reduces moderate/severe ischemic and hemorrhagic brain injury and improves cardiac function and neurodevelopmental outcome in CCHD neonates.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: EudraCT 2017-004596-31. Registered on November 14, 2017. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04217421. Registered on January 3, 2020.

Original languageEnglish
Article number174
JournalTrials
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Allopurinol
  • Brain injury
  • Cardiac function
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Neonate
  • Neurodevelopmental outcome

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