Methods and analysis: An open-label randomised control trial recruiting 100 children (50 each treatment arm) 5 to 16 years old with unilateral PD. Subjects are randomly assigned to either (a) ZA and standard care or (b) Standard care. The primary outcome measure is deformity index (DI), a radiographic parameter of femoral head roundness assessed at 24 months, following 12 months of ZA treatment (3-monthly doses of ZA 0.025 mg/kg at baseline, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months) plus 12 months observation (group A) or 24 months of observation (group B). Secondary outcome measures are femoral head subluxation, Faces Pain scale, Harris hip score and quality of life. Assessments are made at baseline, 3 monthly during the first year of follow-up and then 6 monthly, until the 24th month.
Ethics and dissemination: The study commenced following the written approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee. Safety considerations regarding the effects of ZA are monitored which include the subject's symptomatology, mineral status, bone mass and turnover activity, and metaphyseal modelling. Data handling plan requires that all documents, clinical information, biological samples and investigation results will be held in strict confidence by study investigators to preserve its safety and confidentiality.
Trial registration number: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials ACTRN12610000407099, pre-results.