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J Asthma. 2007 Mar;44(2):71-6.

Effect of maternal asthma and gestational asthma therapy on fetal growth.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of California. La Jolla, San Diego, California 92103, USA.


Asthma is a common chronic condition that might seriously complicate pregnancy and fetal development. This article provides a comprehensive review of the existing literature regarding the effect on fetal growth of maternal asthma and common asthma medications used during pregnancy, including short-and long-acting beta (2)-agonists, inhaled and oral corticosteroids, chromones, leukotriene receptor agonists, and theophylline. Evaluated outcomes of fetal growth include low birth weight, mean birth weight, small for gestational age, birth length and head circumference, and measures of asymmetrical growth retardation. Methodological and practical considerations related to safety of asthma medications in pregnancy and management of gestational asthma are discussed.

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