Dexamethasone associated systemic hypertension in low birth weight babies with chronic lung disease

Eur J Pediatr. 1996 Jul;155(7):573-5. doi: 10.1007/BF01957907.


To assess the role of dexamethasone treatment as a cause of systemic hypertension and associated complications, blood pressure was registered prospectively before, during and after a 4-week dexamethasone course in 22 neonates with chronic lung disease. In all patients systolic blood pressure rose significantly during treatment (median rise 34 mm Hg, range 4-->59 mm Hg), without complications attributable to hypertension. In all but one patient blood pressure returned to pretreatment values within 2 weeks after stopping dexamethasone treatment.

Conclusion: Dexamethasone induced hypertension is transient, even after a 4-week course, and is not associated with hypertensive complications, so treatment is not necessary. When hypertension persists after dexamethasone withdrawal other causes should be considered.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / adverse effects*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / drug therapy*
  • Dexamethasone / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / chemically induced*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Dexamethasone