Comparing neonatal respiratory morbidity in neonates delivered after 34 weeks of gestation with and without antenatal corticosteroid

Pak J Med Sci. 2017 Nov-Dec;33(6):1390-1394. doi: 10.12669/pjms.336.14031.


Objective: To investigate the effect of antenatal corticosteroid prophylaxis on neonatal respiratory morbidity between 34 and 37 weeks of gestation.

Methods: This retrospective study evaluated the neonatal respiratory complications of 683 low risk singleton pregnancies delivered at 34-37 weeks of gestation in a tertiary care center between Jan 2012 and Sept 2015. Group-I (n=294) comprised data of woman who did not receive betamethasone and Group-II(n=396) comprised those who received betamethasone after 34 weeks of gestation for cases at risk of preterm birth. Primary outcome was neonatal respiratory morbidity (NRM). NRM was defined as any respiratory disease that required medical support including supplemental oxygen, nasal continuous positive airway pressure, endotracheal intubation, or exogenous surfactant, with more than 25% oxygen for > 10 minute to maintain neonate oxygen saturation >90% Demographic characteristics, mode of delivery, fetal birth weight and neonatal respiratory complications was compared between the two groups.

Results: There was no statistically significant difference for neonatal respiratory morbidity development rate between patients who received betamethasone or those who did not receive it. The incidence of neonatal respiratory morbidity was similar (15.3% in the control group and 14.9% in the intervention group; p=0.88).

Conclusion: We found no improvement with betamethasone administration empirically in late preterm birth as regards prevention of Neonatal Respiratory Morbidity(NRM).

Keywords: Betamethasone administration; Late preterm; Neonatal respiratory morbidity.