DiPEP (Diagnosis of Pulmonary Embolism in Pregnancy) Trial

Dipep logoProfessor Steve Goodacre of EMRiS, and collaborators from Sheffield CTRU, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, University of Oxford, King's College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation trust, have successfully secured £688,000 of NIHR HTA funding to develop and examine clinical characteristics and decision rules to improve the identification of Pulmonary Embolism (PE) in pregnant and post-partum women.

A Pulmonary Embolism, also known as a blood clot on the lung, is the leading cause of death in pregnancy and in women who have recently given birth.  Fortunately, PE is a relatively rare occurrence, but the serious consequences of misdiagnosis have led to a large number of women undergoing investigations for PE.  However, there is data to suggest that only 2% of those who undergo investigations, such as scans, are actually diagnosed with PE.  Unnecessary scanning in this population exposes both the mother and foetus to risks associated with radiation exposure, as well as inconvenience and distress.

DiPEP will collect data retrospectively using the UK Obstetric Surveillance System (UKOSS) to identify 150 women who were diagnosed with PE in pregnancy, as well as prospectively recruit and collect data on 250 women across 12 selected hospitals in the UK, who receive investigations for suspected PE.  The first sites will begin recruitment in Early 2015 with data collection ongoing until September 2016.

Professor Goodacre and his team will use this data to evaluate clinical characteristics of those with PE, develop new clinical prediction rules as well as modify existing rules, which may enable clinicians to more reliably diagnose or rule out PE.  They will also look at biomarkers in blood samples to evaluate potential alternative indicators for blood clots.

For further information on the study please contact Kim Horspool (Study Manager), or Steve Goodacre (Chief Investigator).