Multiple vs. single betamethasone therapy. Neonatal and maternal effects


OBJECTIVE: To identify potential neonatal benefits and possible neonatal and maternal complications associated with repeated use of antenatal corticosteroids. STUDY DESIGN: A retrospective chart review was done on all gravidas < 34 weeks who were hospitalized and received antenatal betamethasone at our institution between January 1, 1992 and April 30, 1996. Regression analysis was performed to investigate the relationship between single vs. multiple course of betamethasone and multiple variables. RESULTS: After controlling for significant covariates, multiple courses of betamethasone were associated with a decrease in oxygen use (P < .01). A nonsignificant decline in respiratory distress syndrome and assisted ventilation was noted. No effect on birth weight or maternal or neonatal infection was seen. CONCLUSION: Repeated use of betamethasone is associated with a significant decrease in oxygen use in the preterm neonate. No significant maternal or neonatal complications were found. A prospective, randomized trial is necessary.

Journal of Reproductive Medicine