BMJ Open. 2022 Dec 9;12(12):e066480. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-066480.
INTRODUCTION: Congenital anomalies affect over 2% of pregnancies. Surgical advances have reduced mortality and improved survival for patients with congenital anomalies potentially requiring surgical (CAPRS) intervention. However, our understanding of aetiology, diagnostic methods, optimal management, outcomes and prognostication is limited. Existing birth cohorts have low numbers of individual heterogenous CAPRS. The Surgical Paediatric congEnital Anomalies Registry with Long term follow-up (Surgical-PEARL) study aims to establish a multicentre prospective fetal, child and biological parent cohort of CAPRS.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: From 2022 to 2027, Surgical-PEARL aims to recruit 2500 patients with CAPRS alongside their biological mothers and fathers from up to 15 UK centres. Recruitment will be antenatal or postnatal dependent on diagnosis timing and presentation to a recruitment site. Routine clinical data including antenatal scans and records, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) records, diagnostic and surgical data and hospital episode statistics will be collected. A detailed biobank of samples will include: parents’ blood and urine samples; amniotic fluid if available; children’s blood and urine samples on admission to NICU, perioperatively or if the child has care withdrawn or is transferred for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; stool samples; and surplus surgical tissue. Parents will complete questionnaires including sociodemographic and health data. Follow-up outcome and questionnaire data will be collected for 5 years. Once established we will explore the potential of comparing findings in Surgical-PEARL to general population cohorts born in the same years and centres.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical and health research authority approvals have been granted (IRAS Project ID: 302251; REC reference number 22/SS/0004). Surgical-PEARL is adopted onto the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network portfolio. Findings will be disseminated widely through peer-reviewed publication, conference presentations and through patient organisations and newsletters.
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN12557586.