JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Corticosteroids for preventing neonatal respiratory morbidity after elective caesarean section at term

Alexandros Sotiriadis, George Makrydimas, Stefania Papatheodorou, John Pa Ioannidis
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009 October 7, (4): CD006614
19821379

BACKGROUND: Infants born at term by elective caesarean delivery are more likely to develop respiratory morbidity than infants born vaginally. Prophylactic corticosteroids in singleton preterm pregnancies accelerate lung maturation and reduce the incidence of respiratory complications.

OBJECTIVES: The objective of this review was to assess the effect of prophylactic corticosteroid administration before elective caesarean section at term, as compared to usual management without corticosteroids, in reducing neonatal respiratory morbidity and admission to special care with respiratory complications.

SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Chilbirth Group's Trials Register (30 June 2009).

SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised and quasi-randomised controlled trials comparing prophylactic antenatal corticosteroid administration (betamethasone or dexamethasone) with placebo or with no treatment, given before elective caesarean section at term (at or after 37 weeks of gestation).

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: The co-authors assessed the results of the only available trial independently to retrieve data on perinatal outcomes. Results were expressed as risk ratio (RR) or mean differences (MD), together with their 95% confidence intervals (CI).

MAIN RESULTS: One study comparing prophylactic administration of betamethasone (N = 467) versus usual treatment without steroids (N = 475) in term elective caesarean section was included in the review. Women randomised to treatment group received two intramuscular doses of betamethasone in the 48 hours before delivery, whereas the control group received treatment as usual.Prophylactic betamethasone appeared to significantly decrease the risk of admission to the neonatal intensive care unit for respiratory morbidity (RR 0.15; 95% CI 0.03 to 0.64). However, no statistically significant reduction was found in the incidence of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (RR 0.32; 95% CI 0.07 to 1.58), transient tachypnoea of the newborn (RR 0.52; 95% CI 0.25 to 1.11), need for mechanical ventilation (RR 4.07; 95% CI 0.46 to 36.27) and length of stay in neonatal intensive care unit (MD) -2.14 days; 95% CI -5.58 to 1.30).There were no reported events of neonatal sepsis, perinatal deaths or maternal trauma infection, therefore results on these outcomes are non-estimable. The study did not provide data on other pre-defined outcomes.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: The results from the single trial are promising, but more studies with larger samples are needed to investigate the effect of prophylactic steroids in the incidence of neonatal complications per se. Also more data and longer follow up would be needed for potential harms and complications.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
19821379
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"