Syllabi - Neonatal Medicine - Systematic Review Scenario
Read the article and decide:
You are asked to provide antenatal counselling to a mother with imminent premature delivery at 26 weeks gestation. Both parents are concerned about the prognosis of their baby. They have read on the Internet that early indomethacin may improve their child's neonatal course. You are aware of the cautious recommendation by Nehgme et al, based on their systematic review, to use indomethacin prophylaxis in infants with birth weights < 1500 grams (Nehgme RA, O'Connor TZ, Lister G, Bracken MB. Patent ductus arteriosus. In:Sinclair JC, Bracken MB, editors. Effective care of the newborn infant. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 1992. P. 281-324). However, you have remained concerned about the long-term efficacy and safety of this approach and wonder whether more information has since become available.
You formulate the question, "In a very premature infant, does indomethacin prophylaxis improve survival without severe disability?"
You have a bookmark for the NIH Web Site that publishes all neonatal reviews for the Cochrane Collaboration: silk.nih.gov/silk/cochrane (no longer online). You click on "Collection of Documents and Reviews", then click on "Proceed to Systematic Reviews". On "The Cochrane Neonatal Collaborative Review Group" page, you click on "Search this site" and enter the word "indomethacin". Of the four reviews, one is a perfect match. After reading the abstract, you decide to print the whole document off the web site http://silk.nih.gov/silk/cochrane/fowlie/fowlie.htm (no longer online)
- Is the evidence from this randomised trial valid?
- If valid, is this evidence important?
- If valid and important, can you apply this evidence in caring for your patient?
Completed Systematic Reviews Worksheet for Evidence-Based Neonatal Medicine
CitationFowlie PW. Prophylactic intravenous indomethacin in very low birth weight infants (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library, 1997. Oxford: Update Software.
Are the results of this systematic review (systematic review) of therapy valid?
- Is it a systematic review of randomised trials of the treatment you're interested in?
- Does it include a methods section that describes finding and including all the relevant trials?
- Does it include a methods section that describes assessing their individual validity?
- Were the results consistent from study to study?
- All trials suggest that prophylactic indomethacin is associated with short-term benefits, namely reduction of Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) and severe Intraventricular Hemorrhage (IVH grade 3 and 4). Whether or not this results in improved survival without disability has not been sufficiently evaluated.
Are the valid results of this systematic review important?
|Patient's Expected Event Rate (PEER)||0.05||2091||139||104||83||69||59||52||46||412|
For all IVH:
Control Event Rate (CER) = 221/614 = 0.3599
Experimental Event Rate (EER) = 161/598 = 0.2692
OR = 0.61
NNT is approximately 10.
For IVH Grade 3 and 4:
Control Event Rate (CER) = 80/599 = 0.1336
Experimental Event Rate (EER) = 46/577 = 0.0797
NNT is approximately 18
For symptomatic PDA:
Control Event Rate (CER) = 135/410 = 0.3293
Experimental Event Rate (EER) = 46/403 = 0.1141
OR = 0.29
NNT is approximately 5.
Can you apply this valid, important evidence from a systematic review in caring for your patient?
Do these results apply to your patient?
- Is your patient so different from those in the systematic review that its results can't help you?
- How great would the potential benefit of therapy actually be for your individual patient?
- Method I:
In the table on page 1, find the intersection of the closest odds ratio from the overview and the CER that is closest to your patient's expected event rate if they received the control treatment (PEER):See above approximate NNTs.
To calculate the NNT for any OR and PEER:
NNT = (1-(PEERx(1-OR))/((1-PEER)xPEERx(1-OR))
Are your patient's values and preferences satisfied by the regimen and its consequences?
- Do your patient and you have a clear assessment of their values and preferences?
- Are they met by this regimen and its consequences?
Should you believe apparent qualitative differences in the efficacy of therapy in some subgroups of patients?Not applicable; there have been no subgroup analyses.
Despite the evidence of short-term benefits, indomethacin prophylaxis is not widely used in many countries, due to concerns about drug safety (e.g. the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis and gastro-intestinal perforations) and the lack of convincing data on long-term outcomes after indomethacin prophylaxis in this high-risk population.
Therefore, an international placebo-controlled trial was launched in 1996, to determine whether the prophylactic administration of low-dose indomethacin to infants weighing 500-999 grams at birth improves survival without neurosensory impairment to a corrected age of 18 months. This trial is funded by the Medical Research Council of Canada, and co-sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Twelve-hundred and two infants have been enrolled between 1996 and 1998 in Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. Follow-up will be completed early in the year 2000. For further information, please contact Barbara Schmidt.
Premature infants: Prophylactic intravenous indomethacin decreases risk of PDA
Clinical Bottom LineAll trials suggest that prophylactic indomethacin is associated with short-term benefits, namely reduction of Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) and severe Intraventricular Hemorrhage (IVH grade 3 and 4).
CitationFowlie PW. Prophylactic intravenous indomethacin in very low birth weight infants (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library, 1997. Oxford: Update Software. Lead author's name and fax: Fowlie PW. Fax: 01382 645783.
Clinical QuestionIn a very premature infant, does indomethacin prophylaxis improve survival without severe disability?
Search Terms"Indomethacin" in the NIH Web Site that publishes all neonatal reviews for the Cochrane Collaboration: silk.nih.gov/silk/cochrane (no longer online).
- Data Sources: Medline, Embase, Oxford Database of Perinatal Trials.
- Study Selection: Restricted to randomised controlled trials using prophylactic intravenous indomethacin in newborn infants with birth weights <1751 grams.
- Data Extraction: Each of the articles identified by the original literature search was assessed independently, using the inclusion criteria, by the author and a colleague trained in research methodology. Each selected article was reviewed by the author and the outcomes measured were recorded, initially without specific data. Any discrepancies were resolved by a third data extraction. The data from abstracts were compared with those from full manuscripts by the same author(s) to avoid duplicating data.
- Multiple independent reviews of individual reports? No.
- Tested for heterogeneity? No.
|Outcome||Time to Outcome||Typical CER||Typical OR||RRR||NNT||p Value|
|All intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH)||0.3599||0.61||29%||10|
|95% Confidence Intervals||0.47 to 0.79||7 to 19|
|For IVH Grade 3 and 4||0.1336||0.55||41%||18|
|95% Confidence Intervals||0.37 to 0.80||13 to 42|
|For symptomatic PDA||0.3293||0.29||62%||5|
|95% Confidence Intervals||0.21 to 0.40||4 to 6|