Objective: This study aimed to investigate the effect of betamethasone treatment on the endocervical concentration of IL-1β, IL-4, IL-6, and TNF-α in preterm labor patients.
Study design: We studied 68 prime-gravid women in preterm labor between 34 and 37 weeks of gestation without clinical infection. Endocervical concentrations of inflammatory cytokines were assessed; immediately on admission and 48 h after administration of two doses of intramuscular betamethasone (12 mg/kg). Wilcoxon and Mann-Whitney tests along with χ(2) and Student's t tests were utilized for statistical analysis.
Results: In the betamethasone group IL-1β and TNF-α significantly decreased (P<0.001), and IL-6 and IL-4 increased (P: NS). Among patients delivered before or on the 7th day of admission IL-6 and TNF-α were higher at the most significant levels (P<0.001) compared to IL-1β and IL-4 (P: 0.001, 0.002 in respect).
Conclusion: Betamethasone can help induce the down regulation of endocervical inflammatory cytokines in patients with preterm labor.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.