Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Med Clin (Barc). 2006 Sep 16;127(10):361-7.

[Antenatal exposure to corticosteroids for fetal lung maturation and its repercussion on weight, length and head circumference in the newborn infant].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

Centro de Investigación sobre Anomalías Congénitas (CIAC), Sección de Teratología Clínica y Servicio de Información sobre Teratógenos (SITTE), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, España. e.rodrí



To study the effects of antenatal corticosteroids treatment to promote fetal lung maturation, on fetal growth, depending on the number of the courses administered.


The study was based on data from the Spanish Collaborative Study of Congenital Malformations (ECEMC), analysing a sample of 29,557 singleton liveborn infants without congenital defects. An stratified analysis by gestational age was performed to compare the weight, length and head circumference at birth, in the exposed and unexposed infants to dexamethasone/betamethasone. To control confounding factors (year of birth, maternal age, gestational age, parity, maternal smoking and/or alcohol consumption, gestational diabetes, non-gestational diabetes and other maternal chronic diseases) we used a general linear model with random effects, being the randomised variable the place of birth.


The exposure to more than one course of antenatal corticosteroids resulted in a significant reduction of birth weight, length and head circumference in singleton preterm infants. The birth weight decreased by 22% (p < 0.0001), the length 5% (p = 0.002) and the head circumference 6% (p = 0.0005). The treatment with only one course reduced also significantly the weight and length but not the head circumference. In addition, we observed a significant interaction between the treatment and gestational age at birth indicating that the effect of corticosteroids is stronger in the most premature babies.


In this retrospective analysis, the antenatal exposure to corticosteroids to promote fetal maturation is associated with diminished weight, length and head circumference in the premature newborn infant. This negative effect was greater in those premature babies exposed to multiple courses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Ediciones Doyma, S.L.
    Loading ...
    Support Center