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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1999 Jan;180(1 Pt 1):114-21.

Repeated antenatal corticosteroids: size at birth and subsequent development.

Author information

1
Department of Neonatal Paediatrics, King Edward Memorial Hospital, Perth, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The objective was to study the effects of repeated antenatal corticosteroids on birth size, growth, and development in preterm infants.

STUDY DESIGN:

This observational study followed up for 3 years a prospective geographic cohort in the state of Western Australia of 477 singleton infants born at <33 weeks' gestation.

RESULTS:

Birth weight ratio decreased with increasing number of corticosteroid courses (P =.001), and multivariate analyses confirmed a reduction in birth weight of as much as 9% (P =.014) and a reduction in head circumference of as much as 4% (P =.0024). There were no additional benefits in mortality or respiratory outcomes, and there was a trend toward more severe chronic lung disease. At age 3 years growth and severe disability outcomes did not appear to be related to increasing number of corticosteroid courses.

CONCLUSIONS:

In this cohort study repeated corticosteroid courses were associated with adverse effects on size at birth without apparent benefits. These changes have the potential to affect later development.

PMID:
9914589
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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