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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Mar;190(3):588-95.

Repeated antenatal corticosteroids: effects on cerebral palsy and childhood behavior.

Author information

1
Department of Neonatal Paediatrics, King Edward Memorial Hospital, Subiaco, Perth, Australia. Noel.French@health.wa.gov.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study was undertaken to determine the effects of repeated courses of antenatal corticosteroids on childhood behavior and disabilities, including cognitive delay and cerebral palsy.

STUDY DESIGN:

Nonrandomized regional cohort of 541 very preterm infants born in Western Australia from singleton pregnancies and alive at 3 years were included in the study.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Physical, cognitive, and psychological assessments up to 6 years.

RESULTS:

Increasing numbers of antenatal corticosteroid courses were associated with a reduction in the rate of cerebral palsy. Three or more courses were also associated with increased rates of aggressive/destructive, distractible, and hyperkinetic behavior and these effects were present at both ages 3 and 6 years. Measures of internalizing behavior and intelligence quotient were unaffected by antenatal corticosteroid use.

CONCLUSION:

Repeated antenatal courses of corticosteroids may protect against cerebral palsy but are associated with hyperactivity later in childhood.

PMID:
15041985
DOI:
10.1016/j.ajog.2003.12.016
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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