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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Jun;200(6):595-609. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2009.04.005.

Antenatal magnesium sulfate for the prevention of cerebral palsy in preterm infants less than 34 weeks' gestation: a systematic review and metaanalysis.

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Perinatology Research Branch, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, MD, USA.


We conducted a systematic review and metaanalysis of randomized controlled trials to determine whether magnesium sulfate administered to women at risk of preterm delivery before 34 weeks of gestation may reduce the risk of cerebral palsy in their children. Six trials involving 4796 women and 5357 infants were included. Antenatal magnesium sulfate was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of cerebral palsy (relative risk [RR], 0.69; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.55-0.88), moderate or severe cerebral palsy (RR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.44-0.92), and substantial gross motor dysfunction (RR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.43-0.83). There was no overall difference in the risk of total pediatric mortality (RR, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.89-1.14). Minor side effects were more frequent among women receiving magnesium sulfate. In conclusion, magnesium sulfate administered to women at risk of delivery before 34 weeks of gestation reduces the risk of cerebral palsy.

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