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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Mar;206(3):187-94. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2011.07.042. Epub 2011 Jul 30.

Repeat antenatal glucocorticoids for women at risk of preterm birth: a Cochrane Systematic Review.

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  • 1Liggins Institute, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.


Administration of antenatal glucocorticoids to women at risk of preterm birth has major benefits for infants but the use of repeat dose(s) is controversial. We performed a systematic review of randomized trials, using standard Cochrane methodology, to assess the effectiveness and safety of 1 or more repeat doses given to women at risk of preterm birth 7 or more days after an initial course. Ten trials were included involving over 4730 women and 5700 infants. Treatment with repeat dose(s) compared with no repeat treatment reduced the risk of respiratory distress syndrome (risk ratio, 0.83; 95% confidence interval, 0.75-0.91) and serious neonatal morbidity (risk ratio, 0.84; 95% confidence interval, 0.75-0.94). At 2- to 3-year follow-up (4 trials, 4170 children), there was no evidence of either significant benefit or harm. Repeat doses of glucocorticoids should be considered in women at risk of preterm birth 7 or more days after an initial course, in view of the neonatal benefits.

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