A treatment strategy with nifedipine versus labetalol for women with pregnancy hypertension: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial (Giant PANDA)

Danielle Ashworth, Cheryl Battersby, Debra Bick, Marcus Green, Pollyanna Hardy, Lisa Leighton, Laura A. Magee, Alisha Maher, Richard J. McManus, Catherine Moakes, R. Katie Morris, Catherine Nelson-Piercy, Jenie Sparkes, Oliver Rivero-Arias, Andrew Webb, Hannah Wilson, Jenny Myers, Lucy C. Chappell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Approximately one in ten women have high blood pressure during pregnancy. Hypertension is associated with adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes, and as treatment improves maternal outcomes, antihypertensive treatment is recommended. Previous trials have been unable to provide a definitive answer on which antihypertensive treatment is associated with optimal maternal and neonatal outcomes and the need for robust evidence evaluating maternal and infant benefits and risks remains an important, unanswered question for research and clinical communities. Methods: The Giant PANDA study is a pragmatic, open-label, multicentre, randomised controlled trial of a treatment initiation strategy with nifedipine (calcium channel blocker), versus labetalol (mixed alpha/beta blocker) in 2300 women with pregnancy hypertension. The primary objective is to evaluate if treatment with nifedipine compared to labetalol in women with pregnancy hypertension reduces severe maternal hypertension without increasing fetal or neonatal death or neonatal unit admission. Subgroup analyses will be undertaken by hypertension type (chronic, gestational, pre-eclampsia), diabetes (yes, no), singleton (yes, no), self-reported ethnicity (Black, all other), and gestational age at randomisation categories (11 + 0 to 19 + 6, 20 + 0 to 27 + 6, 28 + 0 to 34 + 6 weeks). A cost-effectiveness analysis using an NHS perspective will be undertaken using a cost-consequence analysis up to postnatal hospital discharge and an extrapolation exercise with a lifetime horizon conditional on the results of the cost-consequence analysis. Discussion: This trial aims to address the uncertainty of which antihypertensive treatment is associated with optimal maternal and neonatal outcomes. The trial results are intended to provide definitive evidence to inform guidelines and linked, shared decision-making tools, thus influencing clinical practice. Trial registration: EudraCT number: 2020–003410-12, ISRCTN: 12,792,616 registered on 18 November 2020.

Original languageEnglish
Article number584
Issue number1
Early online date12 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Antihypertensives
  • Blood pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Pregnancy
  • Randomised controlled trial

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