Professor Arri Coomarasamy MBChB, MD, FRCOG, FMedSci

Professor Arri Coomarasamy

Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
Professor of Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine
Director of Tommy's National Centre for Miscarriage Research
Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Women’s Health

Contact details

Address
Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Professor Arri Coomarasamy’s research has two aims, one to prevent miscarriages and the other to stop mothers dying during childbirth.

One in 4 pregnancies end in a miscarriage, causing untold amount of devastation to couples. In his role as the Director of the Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research, Arri leads a world-class team of scientists and doctors, researching to stop the occurrence of miscarriages. 

Every 2 minutes a mother dies during childbirth somewhere in the world, often in the prime of her life and often leaving behind a young family. A third of these deaths are from post-partum haemorrhage (excessive bleeding at childbirth). In his role as the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Women’s Health, Arri leads an international team of researchers focused on finding ways to prevent women dying from excessive bleeding at childbirth.

Professor Arri Coomarasamy received his undergraduate medical education from the University of Birmingham, and completed his subspecialist training in reproductive medicine and surgery at Guy’s Hospital, London. 

His research portfolio includes numerous national and international multicentre randomised controlled trials, including:

Professor Arri Coomarasamy has published over 190 medical articles in high impact journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, the British Medical Journal and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

Professor Coomarasamy takes particular pride in mentoring junior doctors and researchers, and several of his trainees have become outstanding clinicians and researchers.

Professor Coomarasamy serves or has in the past served on several international and national committees, including grant funding boards for NIHR, MRC, Wellcome and DfID, the BJOG editorial board, the RCOG Wellbeing of Women Research Panel, various committees of the WHO, the Early Pregnancy Clinical Studies Group, the Reproductive Medicine Clinical Studies Group, and the GLOW organising committee. He is the founding trustee of Ammalife, a UK-registered charity with a global mission of reducing maternal deaths in low-income countries.

 

Qualifications

  • Fellow of the Academy of Medical Science (2019)
  • FRCOG, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (2014)
  • MD in Integration of diagnostic and effectiveness evidence, University of Birmingham (2004)
  • MRCOG, London (2001)
  • DFFP, London (2000)
  • MBChB in Medicine and Surgery, University of Birmingham (1995)

Biography

Professor Arri Coomarasamy received his undergraduate medical training from the University of Birmingham (1995), and completed his subspecialist training in reproductive medicine and surgery at Guy’s Hospital, London. He gained his MD in 2004 for work exploring the integration of diagnostic and therapeutic information. He now leads a team that continues to move from strength to strength in the development of early pregnancy and global women’s health research. 

Teaching

Professor Coomarasamy leads and teaches on various MRCOG part 1, 2 and 3 courses, and contributes to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching at the University of
Birmingham. Course websites: www.acecourses.co.uk and www.aceonline.org.uk

Postgraduate supervision

Professor Coomarasamy considers it a duty and privilege to support the next generation of academic and clinical investigators. He currently guides a cohort of over twenty doctoral researchers, postdoctoral fellows and clinical lecturers in the fields of gynaecology, early pregnancy care, and global women’s health.

Past and present PhD students include:

Amie Wilson
Hoda Harb
Justin Chu
Yee Yin Chan
Sesh Kamal Sunkara
Rima Dhillon-Smith
Paul Smith
Abey Eapen
Abi Merriel
Bala Karunakaran
Emily Colley
Will Parry-Smith
Helen Williams
Laurentiu Craciunas
Thanos Georgakas
James Cheshire
Catherine Dunlop
Jay Ghosh
Hajra Khattak
Sheikh Irfan
Madara Ralapanawe
Danai Bagkou
Eleanor Thomas
Preth De Silva
Pedro Melo
Yealin Chung

Past and present lecturers include:

David Lissauer
Ioannis Gallos
Justin Chu
Rima Dhillon-Smith
Paul Smith
Hoda Harb
Jennifer Tamblyn  

Research

CLINICAL TRIALS 

Professor Arri Coomarasamy has led or is currently leading numerous national and international multicentre randomised controlled trials, including:

Professor Coomarasamy is a co-investigator in several clinical trials, including:

  • Surgical Evacuation with intraopErative Ultrasound: a pilot trial to assess feasibility (The SEE U Trial)
  • Chronic Endometritis and Recurrent Miscarriage (The CERM Trial)
  • Pilot trial of Antioxidant Therapy in Men with Unexplained Miscarriage (The pAToMiUM Trial),
  • A multicentre trial of outpatient hysteroscopy before IVF, after recurrent IVF failures (The TROPHY Trial, Lancet 2016)
  • Selection of sperm for assisted reproductive treatment by prior hyaluronic acid binding: increasing live birth outcomes and reducing miscarriage rates – multicentre randomised controlled, blinded trial (The HABSelect Trial, Lancet 2019). 

EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS 

Professor Coomarasamy has significant expertise in effectiveness and test accuracy data meta-analysis techniques, including advanced data synthesis approaches such as network meta-analysis, meta-regression and bivariate meta-analysis. His work with Professor Zamora (Madrid, Spain) resulted in the first most comprehensive data synthesis software for test accuracy data, Metadisc, which was made available free of charge to researchers worldwide. The software has been cited in the Lancet, JAMA, BMJ and other journal articles more than 1400 times. 

Research Groups and Centres

Twitter: @arricoomarasamy

Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research:

Global Women’s Health:

MRCOG Courses:

Other activities

Professor Arri Coomarasamy is the Director of the Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research, and the co-Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Women’s Health.

Professor Coomarasamy serves or has in the past served on several international and national committees, including grant funding boards for NIHR, MRC and Wellcome Trust, the BJOG editorial board, the RCOG Wellbeing of Women Research Panel, various committees of the WHO, the Early Pregnancy Clinical Studies Group, the Reproductive Medicine Clinical Studies Group, and the GLOW organising committee.

Professor Coomarasamy is a founding trustee of Ammalife (www.ammalife.org), an international charity with a mission to find solutions for maternal health problems through practical research and sustainable projects in the developing world. He is an enthusiastic communicator on the theme of research into global women’s health, and frequently delivers talks and seminars on this theme to a range of groups at local and national levels.

Professor Coomarasamy also maintains clinical responsibilities as a consultant gynaecologist with a special interest in early pregnancy management and reproductive medicine.

Publications

PRISM trial: A Randomized Trial of Progesterone in Women with Early Pregnancy Bleeding. Coomarasamy A*, Devall AJ, Cheed V et al. N Engl J Med.  2019 May 9, 380: 1815-24. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1813730

PROMISE trial: A Randomized Trial of Progesterone in Women with Recurrent Miscarriages. Coomarasamy A; Williams H; Truchanowicz E et al. N Engl J Med. 2015 Nov 26, 373(22):2141-8. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1504927.

TABLET trial: A randomized trial of levothyroxine in preconception women with thyroid antibodies. Dhillon-Smith RK, Middleton LJ, Sunner KK…Coomarasamy A. N Engl J Med. 2019 Apr 4, 380(14): 1316-1325. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1812537. Epub 2019 Mar 23.

AIMS trial:  A Randomized Trial of Prophylactic Antibiotics for Miscarriage Surgery. Lissauer D*, Wilson A, Hewitt CA…Coomarasamy A. N Engl J Med. 2019 March 14, 380: 1012-21. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1808817.

WHO CHAMPION trial: Heat-Stable Carbetocin versus Oxytocin to Prevent Hemorrhage after Vaginal Birth. Widmer M, Piaggio G, Nguyen TMH, Coomarasamy A et al. WHO CHAMPION Trial Group. N Engl J Med. 2018 Aug 23, 379(8):743-752. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1805489. Epub 2018 Jun 27. 

Antibiotic prophylaxis in the surgical management of miscarriage in low-income countries: a cost-effectiveness analysis of the AIMS trial. Goranitis I, Lissauer DM, Coomarasamy A, Wilson A, Daniels J, Middleton L, Bishop J, Hewitt CA, Weeks AD, Mhango C, Mataya R, Ahmed I, Oladapo OT, Zamora J, Roberts TE. Lancet Glob Health. 2019 Sep;7(9):e1280-e1286. doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(19)30336-5. PMID: 31402008

Physiological, hyaluronan-selected intracytoplasmic sperm injection for infertility treatment (HABSelect): a parallel, two-group, randomised trial. Miller D, Pavitt S, Sharma V, Forbes G, Hooper R, Bhattacharya S, Kirkman-Brown J, Coomarasamy A, Lewis S, Cutting R, Brison D, Pacey A, West R, Brian K, Griffin D, Khalaf Y. Lancet. 2019 Feb 2;393(10170):416-422. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)32989-1. PMID: 30712901

Hysteroscopy in recurrent in-vitro fertilisation failure (TROPHY): a multicentre, randomised controlled trial. El-Toukhy T, Campo R, Khalaf Y, Tabanelli C, Gianaroli L, Gordts SS, Gordts S, Mestdagh G, Mardesic T, Voboril J, Marchino GL, Benedetto C, Al-Shawaf T, Sabatini L, Seed PT, Gergolet M, Grimbizis G, Harb H, Coomarasamy A. Lancet. 2016 Jun 25;387(10038):2614-2621. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)00258-0. Epub 2016 Apr 27. PMID: 27132053

Anaesthesia-related maternal mortality in low-income and middle-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Sobhy S, Zamora J, Dharmarajah K, Arroyo-Manzano D, Wilson M, Navaratnarajah R, Coomarasamy A, Khan KS, Thangaratinam S. Lancet Glob Health. 2016 May;4(5):e320-7. doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(16)30003-1. Review. PMID: 27102195 Free Article

Women's groups practising participatory learning and action to improve maternal and newborn health in low-resource settings: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Prost A, Colbourn T, Seward N, Azad K, Coomarasamy A, Copas A, Houweling TA, Fottrell E, Kuddus A, Lewycka S, MacArthur C, Manandhar D, Morrison J, Mwansambo C, Nair N, Nambiar B, Osrin D, Pagel C, Phiri T, Pulkki-Brännström AM, Rosato M, Skordis-Worrall J, Saville N, More NS, Shrestha B, Tripathy P, Wilson A, Costello A. Lancet. 2013 May 18;381(9879):1736-46. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)60685-6. Review.

Uterotonic agents for preventing postpartum haemorrhage: a network meta-analysis. Gallos ID, Papadopoulou A, Man R et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Dec 19, 12:CD011689. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD011689.pub3.

Accuracy of single progesterone test to predict early pregnancy outcome in women with pain or bleeding: meta-analysis of cohort studies. Verhaegen J, Gallos ID, van Mello NM, Abdel-Aziz M, Takwoingi Y, Harb H, Deeks JJ, Mol BW, Coomarasamy A. BMJ. 2012 Sep 27;345:e6077. doi: 10.1136/bmj.e6077. Review. PMID: 23045257

Effectiveness of strategies incorporating training and support of traditional birth attendants on perinatal and maternal mortality: meta-analysis. Wilson A, Gallos ID, Plana N, Lissauer D, Khan KS, Zamora J, MacArthur C, Coomarasamy A. BMJ. 2011 Dec 1;343:d7102. doi: 10.1136/bmj.d7102. Review. PMID: 22134967

A comparison of clinical officers with medical doctors on outcomes of caesarean section in the developing world: meta-analysis of controlled studies. Wilson A, Lissauer D, Thangaratinam S, Khan KS, MacArthur C, Coomarasamy A. BMJ. 2011 May 13;342:d2600. doi: 10.1136/bmj.d2600. PMID: 21571914

Association between thyroid autoantibodies and miscarriage and preterm birth: meta-analysis of evidence. Thangaratinam S, Tan A, Knox E, Kilby MD, Franklyn J, Coomarasamy A. BMJ. 2011 May 9;342:d2616. doi: 10.1136/bmj.d2616. Review. PMID: 21558126 Free PMC Article

Does first trimester progesterone prophylaxis increase the live birth rate in women with unexplained recurrent miscarriages? Coomarasamy A, Truchanowicz EG, Rai R. BMJ. 2011 Apr 18;342:d1914. doi: 10.1136/bmj.d1914. Review. PMID: 21502263

View all publications in research portal

Expertise

Maternal Health

Developing World

Miscarriage