Influence of prenatal steroid therapy on the incidence of respiratory disorders in late premature infants

Ginekol Pol. 2022;93(6):478-481. doi: 10.5603/GP.a2022.0012. Epub 2022 Apr 14.


Objectives: This study was conducted because of conflicting data on the role of corticosteroids administered before delivery in the late premature period. The aim of the study was to assess the frequency of respiratory disorders in 'late premature infants' and the impact of using prenatal steroid therapy.

Material and methods: The study included 513 newborns born between the 34-36 week of pregnancy. They were divided into two groups. In the first group, there were 439 newborns (85.58%) who did not receive prenatal steroid therapy, and in the second group, there were 74 newborns (14.42%) born after the prenatal steroid course. The frequency of occurrence of respiratory disorders requiring the use of non-invasive respiratory support methods as well as intubation and mechanical ventilation was compared in both groups.

Results: In the group of premature infants after steroid therapy 43/74 (58.12%) did not require respiratory support compared to the group of infants without prenatal steroid therapy where in 368/439 (83.8%) cases no respiratory disorders were found.

Conclusions: If there is a risk of preterm labor in the 34-36 week of pregnancy, the use of steroid therapy should be considered. Steroidotherapy at this moment of gestation may not be such beneficial, like in the more premature delivery, before 34 weeks of pregnancy.

Keywords: RDS; late preterm; prenatal steroid therapy; respiratory support.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature* / drug therapy
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature* / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Premature Birth* / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn* / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn* / prevention & control
  • Steroids / adverse effects


  • Steroids