Glucocorticoid prophylaxis for respiratory distress syndrome: a review of potential toxicity

J Pediatr. 1975 Oct;87(4):617-23. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(75)80839-0.


Much evidence suggests that glucocorticoids may increase the rate of lung development during late fetal life, and thereby decrease the risk of respiratory distress syndrome if the fetus is born prematurely. Results of human and animal studies are basically in agreement. The risks of this form of therapy are less well examined, especially in human studies. This review briefly outlines studies that relate to toxicity so that the "risk/benefit ratio" of this form of therapy may be assessed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Fetus / drug effects*
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage
  • Glucocorticoids / adverse effects*
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lung / drug effects
  • Lung / embryology
  • Placenta / drug effects
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / chemically induced*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / chemically induced
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn / prevention & control*
  • Risk


  • Glucocorticoids