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Early Hum Dev. 2000 Jul;59(1):37-50.

Determinants of blood pressure in very low birth weight neonates: lack of effect of antenatal steroids.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, TX 75390-9063, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To define the range of normal blood pressures (BP) for very low birth weight (VLBW;</=1500 g) neonates and to study perinatal variables affecting BP measurements after birth, including the effects of antenatal steroids.

STUDY DESIGN:

Antenatal steroids were rarely administered at Parkland Memorial Hospital before May 1994, permitting us to establish a cohort of VLBW neonates exposed to antenatal steroids [n=70, 1166+/-253 (S.D.) g, and 28.7+/-2.1 weeks] who were matched with neonates delivered during the prior year (n=46, 1100+/-241 g, 28.9+/-1.8 weeks). Maternal and neonatal charts were abstracted for pertinent data, and neonatal BP measurements (determined directly when an arterial catheter was available or indirectly by the oscillometric method) were extracted every 3 h for the first 12 h and every 6 h until 72 h postnatal.

RESULTS:

Antenatal steroids did not affect BP immediately after birth or for the subsequent 72 h postnatal. Therefore, data from all neonates </=1500 g were combined and the pattern of BP change over 72 h postnatal assessed. Systolic, diastolic and mean BP increased (P<0.001) 33%, 44% and 38%, respectively, during the first 72 h. Although neonates weighing </=1000 g and 1001-1500 g demonstrated gradual increases (P<0.001) in systolic, diastolic and mean BP by 72 h, values were consistently lower (P<0.01) in neonates </=1000 g. Of interest, only 11 neonates (9.5%) were treated for clinical hypotension.

CONCLUSIONS:

In VLBW neonates antenatal steroids do not modify BP measurements either immediately after birth or the 30-40% rise occurring in the first 72 h postnatal. Further, BP is developmentally regulated and is gestationally and birth weight dependent. These data provide additional insight into assessing the need for treating hypotension.

PMID:
10962166
DOI:
10.1016/s0378-3782(00)00083-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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