Objective: This study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of weekly courses of antenatal corticosteroids compared with a single course in women with preterm premature rupture of membranes (PROM).
Methods: A planned secondary analysis of women with preterm PROM who participated in a multicenter, randomized trial of weekly courses of antenatal corticosteroids versus single-course therapy was performed. After their first course of standard antenatal steroid therapy, administered between 24 to 32-6/7 weeks of gestation, consenting women were randomly assigned to receive betamethasone versus placebo injections weekly until 34-0/7 weeks of gestation. Maternal and neonatal morbidities were compared between the 2 groups.
Results: Of the 161 women with preterm PROM, 81 women were assigned to receive weekly courses of steroids and 80 to the single-course group. There were no significant differences in composite morbidity between the groups (27 [34.2%] of 81 patients versus 33 [41.8%] of 80 patients, P =.41). Chorioamnionitis was higher in patients who received weekly courses of antenatal steroids (39 [49.4%] of 81 patients versus 25 [31.7%] of 80 patients, P =.04).
Conclusion: Weekly courses of antenatal steroids in women with preterm PROM did not improve neonatal outcomes beyond that achieved with single-course therapy and was associated with an increased risk of chorioamnionitis. Antenatal steroid therapy should not be routinely repeated in patients with preterm PROM.
Level of evidence: I