Repeat doses of prenatal corticosteroids for women at risk of preterm birth for improving neonatal health outcomes
ABSTRACT It has been unclear whether repeat dose(s) of prenatal corticosteroids are beneficial.
To assess the effectiveness and safety of repeat dose(s) of prenatal corticosteroids.
We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (31 March 2011), searched reference lists of retrieved studies and contacted authors for further data.
Randomised controlled trials of women who had already received a single course of corticosteroids seven or more days previously and considered still at risk of preterm birth.
We assessed trial quality and extracted data independently.
We included 10 trials (more than 4730 women and 5650 babies) with low to moderate risk of bias. Treatment of women who remain at risk of preterm birth seven or more days after an initial course of prenatal corticosteroids with repeat dose(s), compared with no repeat corticosteroid treatment, reduced the risk of their infants experiencing the primary outcomes respiratory distress syndrome (risk ratio (RR) 0.83, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.75 to 0.91, eight trials, 3206 infants, numbers needed to treat (NNT) 17, 95% CI 11 to 32) and serious infant outcome (RR 0.84, 95% CI 0.75 to 0.94, seven trials, 5094 infants, NNT 30, 95% CI 19 to 79).Treatment with repeat dose(s) of corticosteroid was associated with a reduction in mean birthweight (mean difference (MD) -75.79 g, 95% CI -117.63 to -33.96, nine trials, 5626 infants). However, outcomes that adjusted birthweight for gestational age (birthweight Z scores, birthweight multiples of the median and small-for-gestational age) did not differ between treatment groups.At early childhood follow-up no statistically significant differences were seen for infants exposed to repeat prenatal corticosteroids compared with unexposed infants for the primary outcomes (total deaths; survival free of any disability or major disability; disability; or serious outcome) or in the secondary outcome growth assessments.
The short-term benefits for babies of less respiratory distress and fewer serious health problems in the first few weeks after birth support the use of repeat dose(s) of prenatal corticosteroids for women still at risk of preterm birth seven days or more after an initial course. These benefits were associated with a small reduction in size at birth. The current available evidence reassuringly shows no significant harm in early childhood, although no benefit.Further research is needed on the long-term benefits and risks for the woman and baby. Individual patient data meta-analysis may clarify how to maximise benefit and minimise harm.
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ABSTRACT: During pregnancy, glucocorticoids (GCs) are used for fetal lung maturation in women at risk of preterm labor. Exogenous GCs do not have exclusively beneficial effects and repeated use of GCs remains controversial. It has been observed that GC exposed rats have smaller placentas and intrauterine growth retarded fetuses. In this study, we questioned whether or not glucocorticoids effect placental angiogenesis mechanisms. One of the most important signaling pathways among several downstream of VEGFR-2 is PI3K/Akt which subsequently activates the mammalian target of rapamycin. Therefore, we hypothesized that overexposure to GCs may adversely affect placental angiogenesis mechanisms by regulating pro-angiogenic factors and their receptors via Akt/mTOR pathway. According to our results Dexamethasone, a synthetic glucocorticoid, administration led to a decrease in VEGF, PIGF expression during pregnancy. VEGFR2 expression was first decreased at gestational day 14 and afterwards increased at gestational days 16, 18 and 20 in rat placentas. These results are in accordance with the reduced phosphorylation of Akt, 4EBP1 and p70S6K. Dexamethasone injection also resulted in a reduction of VEGF, VEGFR1, and VEGFR2 mRNA expression at gestational days 14 and 20, but PIGF mRNA expression was not altered. Growth retarded fetuses seen in Dexamethasone treated pregnancies, may be a result of altered angiogenic factor expression of the placenta mediated via altered mTOR pathway signaling. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.Annals of Anatomy - Anatomischer Anzeiger 11/2014; 198. DOI:10.1016/j.aanat.2014.10.007 · 2.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To evaluate whether a second antenatal corticosteroid course is associated with an increased risk of neonatal sepsis after preterm premature rupture of membranes (PROM). This secondary analysis is a cohort study with data from the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units study on magnesium for neuroprotection. Women with singleton gestations and preterm PROM were eligible. The primary exposure was one compared with two antenatal corticosteroid courses. The primary outcome, neonatal sepsis, was compared between exposed groups. Patient characteristics were analyzed by χ for categorical variables and Student t test or Wilcoxon rank-sum for continuous variables where appropriate. Predictors of neonatal sepsis were analyzed by multivariable logistic regression. One thousand six hundred forty-one patients were eligible. Neonatal sepsis was similar among neonates born to mothers who received one or two antenatal corticosteroid courses (16.2% compared with 17.2%, P=.756, respectively). Adjusting for confounders, the factors associated with neonatal sepsis were length of time from membrane rupture to delivery (odds ratio [OR] 1.52, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02-2.26), respiratory distress syndrome (OR 2.11, 95% CI 1.45-3.07), gestational age at delivery in days (OR 0.98, 95% CI 0.95-0.99) and birth weight per 100 g (OR 0.85, 95% CI 0.77-0.94). A second maternal antenatal corticosteroid course was not associated with an increased rate neonatal sepsis. : II.Obstetrics and Gynecology 11/2014; 124(5):999-1003. DOI:10.1097/AOG.0000000000000460 · 4.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Treatment of women at risk for preterm birth with repeat doses of glucocorticoids reduces neonatal morbidity but could have adverse long-term effects on cardiometabolic health in offspring. We assessed whether exposure to repeat antenatal betamethasone increased risk factors for later cardiometabolic disease in children whose mothers participated in the Australasian Collaborative Trial of Repeat Doses of Corticosteroids. Women were randomized to betamethasone or placebo treatment, ≥7 days after an initial course of glucocorticoids, repeated each week that they remained at risk for preterm birth at <32 weeks' gestation. In this follow-up study, children were assessed at 6 to 8 years' corrected age for body composition, insulin sensitivity, ambulatory blood pressure, and renal function. Of 320 eligible childhood survivors, 258 were studied (81%; 123 repeat betamethasone group; 135 placebo [single course] group). Children exposed to repeat antenatal betamethasone and those exposed to placebo had similar total fat mass (geometric mean ratio 0.98, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.78 to 1.23), minimal model insulin sensitivity (geometric mean ratio 0.89, 95% CI 0.74 to 1.08), 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure (mean difference systolic 0 mm Hg, 95% CI -2 to 2; diastolic 0 mm Hg, 95% CI -1 to 1), and estimated glomerular filtration rate (mean difference 1.2 mL/min/1.73m(2), 95% CI -3.2 to 5.6). Exposure to repeat doses of antenatal betamethasone compared with a single course of glucocorticoids does not increase risk factors for cardiometabolic disease at early school age. Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.Pediatrics 01/2015; 135(2). DOI:10.1542/peds.2014-2408 · 5.30 Impact Factor