Antenatal magnesium sulfate exposure and acute cardiorespiratory events in preterm infants

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Jan;212(1):94.e1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2014.07.023. Epub 2014 Jul 18.


Objective: Antenatal magnesium (anteMg) is used for various obstetric indications including fetal neuroprotection. Infants exposed to anteMg may be at risk for respiratory depression and delivery room (DR) resuscitation. The study objective was to compare the risk of acute cardiorespiratory events among preterm infants who were and were not exposed to anteMg.

Study design: This was a retrospective analysis of prospective data collected in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network's Generic Database from April 1, 2011, through March 31, 2012. The primary outcome was DR intubation or respiratory support at birth or on day 1 of life. Secondary outcomes were invasive mechanical ventilation, hypotension treatment, neonatal morbidities, and mortality. Logistic regression analysis evaluated the risk of primary outcome after adjustment for covariates.

Results: We evaluated 1544 infants <29 weeks' gestational age (1091 in anteMg group and 453 in nonexposed group). Mothers in the anteMg group were more likely to have higher education, pregnancy-induced hypertension, and antenatal corticosteroids, while their infants were younger in gestation and weighed less (P < .05). The primary outcome (odds ratio [OR], 1.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.88-1.65) was similar between groups. Hypotension treatment (OR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.51-0.97) and invasive mechanical ventilation (OR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.41-0.72) were significantly less in the anteMg group.

Conclusion: Among preterm infants age <29 weeks' gestation, anteMg exposure was not associated with an increase in cardiorespiratory events in the early newborn period. The safety of anteMg as measured by the need for DR intubation or respiratory support on day 1 of life was comparable between groups.

Keywords: antenatal magnesium; nasal continuous positive airway pressure; neonatal resuscitation; preterm infants.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Magnesium Sulfate / adverse effects*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / chemically induced*
  • Respiration Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult


  • Magnesium Sulfate

Grant support