BACKGROUND: Infants born extremely preterm are at high risk of dying or suffering from severe brain injuries. Treatment guided by monitoring of cerebral oxygenation may reduce the risk of death and neurologic complications. The SafeBoosC III trial evaluates the effects of treatment guided by cerebral oxygenation monitoring versus treatment as usual. This article describes the detailed statistical analysis plan for the main publication, with the aim to prevent outcome reporting bias and data-driven analyses.
METHODS/DESIGN: The SafeBoosC III trial is an investigator-initiated, randomised, multinational, pragmatic phase III trial with a parallel group structure, designed to investigate the benefits and harms of treatment based on cerebral near-infrared spectroscopy monitoring compared with treatment as usual. Randomisation will be 1:1 stratified for neonatal intensive care unit and gestational age (lower gestational age (<?26?weeks) compared to higher gestational age (??26?weeks)). The primary outcome is a composite of death or severe brain injury at 36?weeks postmenstrual age. Primary analysis will be made on the intention-to-treat population for all outcomes, using mixed-model logistic regression adjusting for stratification variables. In the primary analysis, the twin intra-class correlation coefficient will not be considered. However, we will perform sensitivity analyses to address this. Our simulation study suggests that the inclusion of multiple births is unlikely to significantly affect our assessment of intervention effects, and therefore we have chosen the analysis where the twin intra-class correlation coefficient will not be considered as the primary analysis.
DISCUSSION: In line with the Declaration of Helsinki and the International Conference on Harmonization Good Clinical Practice guidelines, we have developed and published this statistical analysis plan for the SafeBoosC III trial, prior to any data analysis.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.org, NCT03770741. Registered on 10 December 2018.