Phase I pilot clinical trial of antenatal maternally administered melatonin to decrease the level of oxidative stress in human pregnancies affected by pre-eclampsia (PAMPR): Study protocol

Sebastian Rupert Hobson, Rebecca Seok Wai Lim, Elizabeth Ellen Gardiner, Nicole Odile Alers, Euan Morrison Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOther

35 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Pre-eclampsia is a common pregnancy condition affecting between 3 and 7 of women. Unfortunately, the exact pathophysiology of the disease is unknown and as such there are no effective treatments that exist notwithstanding prompt delivery of the fetus and culprit placenta. As many cases of pre-eclampsia occur in preterm pregnancies, it remains a significant cause of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. Recently, in vitro and animal studies have highlighted the potential role of antioxidants in mitigating the effects of the disease. Melatonin is a naturally occurring antioxidant hormone and provides an excellent safety profile combined with ease of oral administration. We present the protocol for a phase I pilot clinical trial investigating the efficacy and side effects of maternal treatment with oral melatonin in pregnancies affected by preterm pre-eclampsia. Methods and analysis: We propose undertaking a single-arm open label clinical trial recruiting 20 women with preterm pre-eclampsia (24+0-35+6 weeks). We will take baseline measurements of maternal and fetal well-being, levels of oxidative stress, ultrasound Doppler studies and other biomarkers of pre-eclampsia. Women will then be given oral melatonin (10 mg) three times daily until delivery. The primary outcome will be time interval between diagnosis and delivery compared to historical controls. Secondary outcomes will compare the baseline measurements previously mentioned with twice-weekly measurements during treatment and then 6 weeks postpartum. Ethics and dissemination: Ethical approval has been obtained from Monash Health Human Research Ethics Committee B (HREC 13076B). Data will be presented at international conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e003788 - e003789
Number of pages1
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Cite this