Pregnancy Outcomes: Effects of Metformin (POEM) study: a protocol for a long-term, multicentre, open-label, randomised controlled trial in gestational diabetes mellitus

Eline G M van Hoorn*, Peter R van Dijk, Jelmer R Prins, Helen L Lutgers, Klaas Hoogenberg, Jan Jaap H M Erwich, Adriaan Kooy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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INTRODUCTION: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a common disorder of pregnancy with health risks for mother and child during pregnancy, delivery and further lifetime, possibly leading to type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Current treatment is focused on reducing hyperglycaemia, by dietary and lifestyle intervention and, if glycaemic targets are not reached, insulin. Metformin is an oral blood glucose lowering drug and considered safe during pregnancy. It improves insulin sensitivity and has shown advantages, specifically regarding pregnancy-related outcomes and patient satisfaction, compared with insulin therapy. However, the role of metformin in addition to usual care is inconclusive and long-term outcome of metformin exposure in utero are lacking. The primary aim of this study is to investigate the early addition of metformin on pregnancy and long-term outcomes in GDM.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The Pregnancy Outcomes: Effects of Metformin study is a multicentre, open-label, randomised, controlled trial. Participants include women with GDM, between 16 and 32 weeks of gestation, who are randomised to either usual care or metformin added to usual care, with insulin rescue in both groups. Metformin is given up to 1 year after delivery. The study consists of three phases (A-C): A-until 6 weeks after delivery; B-until 1 year after delivery; C-observational study until 20 years after delivery. During phase A, the primary outcome is a composite score consisting of: (1) pregnancy-related hypertension, (2) large for gestational age neonate, (3) preterm delivery, (4) instrumental delivery, (5) caesarean delivery, (6) birth trauma, (7) neonatal hypoglycaemia, (8) neonatal intensive care admission. During phase B and C the primary outcome is the incidence of T2DM and (weight) development in mother and child.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study was approved by the Central Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects in the Netherlands. Results will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere056282
Number of pages9
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30-Mar-2022

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