Postnatal Corticosteroids to Prevent or Treat Chronic Lung Disease Following Preterm Birth

Pediatrics. 2022 Jun 1;149(6):e2022057530. doi: 10.1542/peds.2022-057530.


The American Academy of Pediatrics continues to provide guidance on the use of postnatal corticosteroids to manage or prevent chronic lung disease following preterm birth (formerly referred to as bronchopulmonary dysplasia). Since the last revision of such guidance in 2010, several prospective randomized trials have been published. This revision provides a review of those studies as well as updated recommendations, which include the use of systemic low-dose corticosteroid in preterm neonates with or at high risk for chronic lung disease. High-dose dexamethasone (≥0.5 mg/kg per day) is not recommended. New evidence suggests that inhaled corticosteroids may confer benefit if provided with surfactant as a vehicle, but safety data are lacking. Evidence remains insufficient to make any recommendations regarding routine use of postnatal corticosteroids in preterm infants. Neonatologists and other hospital care providers must continue to use their clinical judgment in individual patients, balancing the potential adverse effects of corticosteroid treatment with those of chronic lung disease. The decision to use postnatal corticosteroids for this purpose should be made together with the infant's parents, and the care providers should document their discussions with parents in the patient's medical record.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / adverse effects
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia* / drug therapy
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia* / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Premature Birth*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones