Elucidating the Effect of Antenatal Corticosteroids in the Late Preterm Period

Rekha Upadhya, Sai Bhavana, Muralidhar V. Pai, Shweta Tahlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim and Objective: To determine the efficacy of antenatal corticosteroids given in the late preterm period. Methodology: We conducted a retrospective case–control study on patients with singleton pregnancies who were at a risk of delivering in the late preterm period (34 weeks to 36 weeks 6 days). A total of 126 patients who had received antenatal corticosteroids (prenatal administration of either betamethasone or dexamethasone, minimum one dose) during the late preterm period were taken as cases, and 135 patients who had not received steroids antenatally due to various reasons, for example, who were clinically unstable, presented with active bleeding, non-reassuring foetal status that obligated an imminent delivery and those in active labour were included as controls. The various neonatal outcomes like APGAR score at one and five minutes, incidence of admission and duration of stay in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), respiratory morbidity, requirement of assisted ventilation, intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH) necrotizing enterocolitis, transient tachypnea of the newborn, respiratory distress syndrome, use of surfactant, neonatal hypoglycaemia, hyperbilirubinemia requiring phototherapy, sepsis and neonatal mortality were compared between the two groups. Results: The baseline characteristics of both groups were comparable. There was a lower incidence of admissions to neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) (15% vs. 26%, p = 0.05), respiratory distress syndrome (5% vs. 13%, p = 0.04), requirement of invasive ventilation (0% vs. 4%, p = 0.04) and hyperbilirubinemia requiring phototherapy (24% vs. 39%, p = 0.02) in the babies of the group that received steroids compared to the control group. The rate of overall respiratory morbidity in the neonates was lowered after giving steroids (16% vs. 28%, p = 0.04). The incidence of neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis, hypoglycaemia, IVH, TTN, sepsis and mortality between the two groups was not significant (p > 0.05). Conclusion: Antenatal corticosteroids administered to patients between 34 and 36 weeks 6 days of gestation reduce respiratory morbidity, requirement of invasive ventilation, respiratory distress syndrome, hyperbilirubinemia requiring phototherapy and the incidence of NICU admissions in the newborns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-112
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of India
Issue number2
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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