Enteral supplementation with high-dose docosahexaenoic acid on the risk of bronchopulmonary dysplasia in very preterm infants: a collaborative study protocol for an individual participant data meta-analysis

Isabelle Marc, Pascal M. Lavoie, Andrew J. McPhee, Carmel T. Collins, David Simonyan, Etienne Pronovost, Mireille Guillot, Jacqueline F. Gould, Ibrahim Mohamed, Marc Beltempo, Amélie Boutin, Isabel Fortier, Thomas R. Sullivan, Lynne Moore, Maria Makrides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction Severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a well-known factor consistently associated with impaired cognitive outcomes. Regarding reported benefits on long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes, the potential adverse effects of high-dose docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation on this short-term neonatal morbidity need further investigations in infants born very preterm. This study will determine whether high-dose DHA enteral supplementation during the neonatal period is associated with the risk of severe BPD at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age (PMA) compared with control, in contemporary cohorts of preterm infants born at less than 29 weeks of gestation. Methods and analysis As part of an Australian-Canadian collaboration, we will conduct an individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials targeting infants born at less than 29 weeks of gestation and evaluating the effect of high-dose DHA enteral supplementation in the neonatal period compared with a control. Primary outcome will be severe grades of BPD (yes/no) at 36 weeks' PMA harmonised according to a recent definition that predicts early childhood morbidities. Other outcomes will be survival without severe BPD, death, BPD severity grades, serious brain injury, severe retinopathy of prematurity, patent ductus arteriosus and necrotising enterocolitis requiring surgery, sepsis, combined neonatal morbidities and growth. Severe BPD will be compared between groups using a multivariate generalised estimating equations log-binomial regression model. Subgroup analyses are planned for gestational age, sex, small-for-gestational age, presence of maternal chorioamnionitis and mode of delivery. Ethics and dissemination The conduct of each trial was approved by institutional research ethics boards and written informed consent was obtained from participating parents. A collaboration and data sharing agreement will be signed between participating authors and institutions. This IPD meta-analysis will document the role of DHA in nutritional management of BPD. Findings will be disseminated through conferences, media interviews and publications to peer-reviewed journals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere076223
JournalBMJ open
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 30 Jul 2023


  • chronic airways disease
  • neonatology
  • nutrition & dietetics
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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