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Prospective, randomized, controlled, double-blind, multi-center, multinational study on the safety and efficacy of 6% Hydroxyethyl starch (HES) sOlution versus an Electrolyte solutioN In patients undergoing eleCtive abdominal Surgery: study protocol for the PHOENICS study

June 28, 2023

Hydroxyethyl starch (HES) solutions are used for volume therapy to treat hypovolemia due to acute blood loss and to maintain hemodynamic stability. This study was requested by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to provide more evidence on the long-term safety and efficacy of HES solutions in the perioperative setting.
PHOENICS is a randomized, controlled, double-blind, multi-center, multinational phase IV (IIIb) study with two parallel groups to investigate non-inferiority regarding the safety of a 6% HES 130 solution (Volulyte 6%, Fresenius Kabi, Germany) compared with a crystalloid solution (Ionolyte, Fresenius Kabi, Germany) for infusion in patients with acute blood loss during elective abdominal surgery. A total of 2280 eligible patients (male and female patients willing to participate, with expected blood loss ≥ 500 ml, aged > 40 and ≤ 85 years, and ASA Physical status II–III) are randomly assigned to receive either HES or crystalloid solution for the treatment of hypovolemia due to surgery-induced acute blood loss in hospitals in up to 11 European countries. The dosing of investigational products (IP) is individualized to patients’ volume needs and guided by a volume algorithm. Patients are treated with IP for maximally 24 h or until the maximum daily dose of 30 ml/kg body weight is reached. The primary endpoint is the treatment group mean difference in the change from the pre-operative baseline value in cystatin-C-based estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), to the eGFR value calculated from the highest cystatin-C level measured during post-operative days 1-3. Further safety and efficacy parameters include, e.g., combined mortality/major post-operative complications until day 90, renal function, coagulation, inflammation, hemodynamic variables, hospital length of stay, major post-operative complications, and 28-day, 90-day, and 1-year mortality.
The study will provide important information on the long-term safety and efficacy of HES 130/0.4 when administered according to the approved European product information. The results will be relevant for volume therapy of surgical patients.
Trial registration: EudraCT 2016-002162-30. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03278548
Keywords: Volume therapy, Colloids, Hydroxyethyl starch, HES, Surgery, Blood loss, Multi-center, Multinational, Double-blinded, Randomized controlled trial, Non-inferiority trial, Safety