29 June 2011
Antibiotics, along with oral corticosteroids, are standard treatments for acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD). The ultimate aims of treatment are to minimize the impact of the current exacerbation, and by ensuring complete resolution, reduce the risk of relapse. In the absence of superiority studies of antibiotics in AECOPD, evidence of the relative efficacy of different drugs is lacking, and so it is difficult for physicians to select the most effective antibiotic. This paper describes the protocol and rationale for MAESTRAL ( moxifloxacin in AECB s [acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis] tri al; www.clinicaltrials.gov: NCT00656747), one of the first antibiotic comparator trials designed to show superiority of one antibiotic over another in AECOPD. It is a prospective, multinational, multicenter, randomized, double-blind controlled study of moxifloxacin (400 mg PO [ per os] once daily for 5 days) vs amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (875/125 mg PO twice daily for 7 days) in outpatients with COPD and chronic bronchitis suffering from an exacerbation. MAESTRAL uses an innovative primary endpoint of clinical failure: the requirement for additional or alternate treatment for the exacerbation at 8 weeks after the end of antibiotic therapy, powered for superiority. Patients enrolled are those at high-risk of treatment failure, and all are experiencing an Anthonisen type I exacerbation. Patients are stratified according to oral corticosteroid use to control their effect across antibiotic treatment arms. Secondary endpoints include quality of life, symptom assessments and health care resource use.