Vitrified blastocyst transfer cycles with the use of only vaginal progesterone replacement with Endometrin have inferior ongoing pregnancy rates: results from the planned interim analysis of a three-arm randomized controlled noninferiority trial
Vaginal progesterone replacement with Endometrin only for vitrified blastocyst transfer resulted in a one- third decrease in ongoing pregnancy compared with patients randomized to intramuscular progesterone alone or in combination with Endometrin.
Volume 109, Issue 2, Pages 266–275
Kate Devine, M.D., Kevin S. Richter, Ph.D., Eric A. Widra, M.D., Jeffrey L. McKeeby, M.D.
To assess the noninferiority of vaginal P (Endometrin) compared with daily intramuscular P for replacement in programmed vitrified-warmed blastocyst transfer cycles and to assess the noninferiority of vaginal P in combination with intramuscular progesterone every third day compared with daily intramuscular P.
Three-arm randomized controlled noninferiority study. To enable early recognition of inferiority if present, an a priori interim analysis was planned and completed once ongoing pregnancy data were available for 50% of the total enrollment goal. The results of this interim analysis are presented here.
Assisted reproduction technology practice.
Women undergoing transfer of nonbiopsied high quality vitrified-warmed blastocyst(s) in a programmed cycle.
Vitrified-warmed blastocyst transfer with mode of P replacement determined by randomization to either: (1) 50 mg daily intramuscular P only; (2) 200 mg twice daily vaginal Endometrin; or (3) 200 mg twice daily Endometrin plus 50 mg intramuscular P every 3rd day.
Main Outcome Measure(s)
Live birth. The primary outcome of this interim analysis was ongoing pregnancy.
A total of 645 cycles were randomly assigned to one of the three treatment arms, received at least one dose of P replacement therapy according to this assignment and underwent vitrified-warmed blastocyst transfer. These cycles were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. The study team, including the statistician, were blinded to the identity of the treatment arms, which were randomly labeled “A,” “B,” and “C” in the dataset. Ongoing pregnancy occurred in 50%, 47%, and 31% of cycles in arms A, B, and C respectively. Although arm C had an rate of positive hCG equivalent to the other two arms, the rate of pregnancy loss for arm C was significantly higher than for either of the two arms, resulting in a more than one-third lower rate of ongoing pregnancy. There were no statistically significant differences for any outcome tested between arms A and B. Results of a per-protocol analysis were nearly identical to those of the intention-to-treat analysis. On completion of these analyses, arm C was revealed to be the vaginal P only arm.
Relative to regimens inclusive of intramuscular P, vaginal-only P replacement for vitrified-warmed blastocyst transfer results in decreased ongoing pregnancy, due to increased miscarriage, and should be avoided. Randomization to the vaginal-only arm was terminated with these findings. This trial is ongoing to assess the noninferiority of the vaginal plus every 3rd day intramuscular P arm compared with daily intramuscular P in terms of live birth.
Clinical Trial Registration Number
NLM identifier NCT02254577.