Background Clinical trials are conducted during pregnancy to evaluate benefits and risks of medicines for mother and child. The safety of maternal treatments is a key issue for healthcare professionals and parents.
Objective To analyse offspring data reported in clinical trials in pregnant women with diabetes, HIV infection or hypertension (three of the most common diseases in women of childbearing potential) and either treated prior to pregnancy for these chronic diseases or diagnosed and treated during pregnancy.
Methods PubMed and Embase (1 January 1997 to 31 December 2017) were searched for drug trials in pregnant women with diabetes, HIV infection or hypertension. Titles and abstracts were screened, followed by a full-text review of eligible articles. Inclusion criteria were interventional clinical trials in pregnant women treated with medication and full text in English. Trial characteristics, maternal and offspring data were extracted. Data were summarised by disease and study. Twelve key items were considered for the offspring.
Results Overall, 196 articles reporting 132 clinical trials (diabetes n=55; HIV n=59; hypertension n=18) were included. Key offspring data were frequently not reported, for example, number of births (diabetes: 22/55, 40%; HIV: 14/59, 24%; hypertension: 10/18, 56%). Congenital malformations were often not reported with sufficient detail (diabetes: 40/55, 73%; HIV: 39/59, 66%; hypertension: 17/18, 94%). Similar observations were made for other key items (eg, fetal losses, neonatal deaths).
Conclusion Under-reporting of key data for the offspring was frequent in publications of clinical trials in pregnant women with diabetes, HIV infection or hypertension making the assessment of the benefit-risk ratio of treatment options during pregnancy difficult.
Trial registration number CRD42017057024.
- qualitative research
- clinical trial
- congenital abnormalities
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