Egerup, Pia1; Lindschou, Jane1; Gluud, Christian1; Christiansen, Ole Bjarne2
1 Copenhagen Trial Unit, Cochranecenteret Rigshospitalet, Rigshospitalet, The Capital Region of Denmark2 Fertility Department, Juliane Marie Centre, Rigshospitalet, The Capital Region of Denmark
a protocol for a systematic review with meta-analyses, trial sequential analyses, and individual patient data meta-analyses of randomised clinical trials
BACKGROUND: Recurrent miscarriage is generally defined as three or more miscarriages before gestational week 20. Recurrent miscarriage affects 1% of all women and the condition can only be explained by parental chromosome abnormalities, uterine malformations, or endocrine or thrombophilic disturbances to a limited extent. Immunological disturbances are hypothesised to play an important role in recurrent miscarriage and, therefore, various types of immunologically-based therapies have been tested in recurrent miscarriage patients including intravenous immunoglobulins. So far, at least eight randomised placebo-controlled trials, with opposing results, investigating intravenous immunoglobulins with a total of 324 recurrent miscarriage patients have been published. METHODS: We will include randomised clinical trials irrespective of publication date, publication type, publication language, and publication status investigating infusions with immunoglobulins in relation to pregnancy compared to placebo, no intervention, or treatment as usual for assessments of benefits and harms. The relevant published literature will be searched using the following databases: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Medline, Embase, WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, and Ovid Medline In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations databases. Two review authors will independently extract data and assess risk of bias. We will undertake meta-analyses according to the recommendations stated in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Further, we will conduct trial sequential analyses and individual patient data meta-analyses. DISCUSSION: A miscarriage results in great sorrow, loss of life quality, and personal concern. In particular, recurrent miscarriage is extremely stressful and burdensome. It is, therefore, very important to conduct research in this area. There is currently no evidence-based treatment for women with recurrent miscarriage which significantly improves their ability to give live birth. Therefore, a comprehensive up-to-date systematic review is needed. By using individual patient data, it will be possible to provide new knowledge about the benefits and harms of intravenous immunoglobulins and try to identify the subgroup in which the treatment will have the highest impact. This systematic review protocol was registered within the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) as number CRD42014007112.