Severe sepsis: are PROWESS and PROWESS-SHOCK trials comparable? A clinical and statistical heterogeneity analysis.

Despite the same manufacturer, the same drotrecogin alfa activated dose, and the same placebo-controlled design, the negative result from the PROWESS-SHOCK trial contradicted the survival benefit observed in the PROWESS trial. We hypothesize that the different results were due to factors other than the experimental therapy and performed an analysis of the clinical heterogeneity (differences related to the trials' clinical aspects) and the statistical heterogeneity (differences related to the trials' statistical aspects) between these trials. Baseline characteristics and co-interventions were analyzed by chi-square testing and mortality was analyzed by random-effects modeling and I2. Our findings show that clinical variables presented significant heterogeneity, and that up to 90% of the mortality differences between both trials were not due to chance. These results demonstrate that PROWESS and PROWESS-SHOCK are not comparable trials due to the highly significant clinical and statistical heterogeneity. We propose a new and pragmatic solution.
AuthorsAndre C Kalil, Diana F Florescu
JournalCritical care (London, England) (Crit Care) Vol. 17 Issue 4 Pg. 167 (Jul 04 2013) ISSN: 1466-609X [Electronic] England
PMID23826709 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Protein C
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • drotrecogin alfa activated
  • Anti-Infective Agents (therapeutic use)
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Humans
  • Protein C (therapeutic use)
  • Recombinant Proteins (therapeutic use)
  • Research Design
  • Sepsis (drug therapy, mortality)
  • Treatment Outcome

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