Prenatal Steroids Reduce Brain Injury in Preemies

preemies lSome of the tiniest premature babies are more likely to survive and have less brain injury if their mothers receive prenatal steroids. The finding provides the first strong evidence that steroids can benefit preemies born as early as the 23rd week of pregnancy.

Preterm babies are born before the 37th week of gestation, rather than the 40 weeks of a full-term pregnancy. Preterm birth occurs in over 10% of all pregnancies nationwide. It's a leading cause of infant death. Preemies also have increased risk for lung difficulties, developmental disorders and brain damage. Infants born before the 25th week of gestation are at particularly high risk for some degree of lifelong disability.

Medical guidelines currently recommend prenatal steroids for women at risk of giving birth between weeks 24 to 34 of pregnancy. The treatment improves fetal lung maturity, boosts infant survival and reduces the risk of brain injury. But the data on steroid therapy for births before the 25th week of gestation has been too limited to provide clear guidance for treatment.

To learn if steroid therapy might benefit these earliest preemies, researchers in the nationwide Neonatal Research Network analyzed medical records from more than 10,500 infants. All were delivered at 22-25 weeks' gestational age. The researchers also performed neurological exams on a subset of nearly 5,000 infants who survived 18 to 22 months after their original due dates. NIH's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) supported the study.

Journal of the American Medical Association. The scientists found that infants born to mothers who received prenatal steroids had 33% fewer deaths than those whose mothers didn’t. Among surviving infants, rates of blindness, hearing impairment, cerebral palsy or severe delays in motor and cognitive development were more than 20% lower when mothers had received prenatal steroids.

 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

The researchers also looked at infant outcomes separately for each gestational week. For those born at weeks 23, 24 and 25, exposure to prenatal steroids was linked to significant reductions in death or neurological impairment by ages 18 to 22 months.

Prenatal exposure to corticosteroids also led to significantly fewer instances of other conditions among those born at 23-25 weeks. These included bleeding in the brain and a severe infection of the intestines known as necrotizing enterocolitis.

We knew that many physicians were exercising their medical judgment to prescribe the treatment in cases not covered by the guidelines,” says study co-author Dr. Rosemary D. Higgins of NICHD. These findings provide strong evidence that prenatal steroids can benefit infants born as early as the 23rd week of pregnancy.

  • http://www. nichd. nih. gov/health/topics/Preterm_Labor_and_Birth.

  • http://www. nichd. nih. gov/research/supported/nrn.

Article Source:


English Afrikaans Arabic Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) Danish Dutch Filipino Finnish French German Greek Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Indonesian Italian Japanese Korean Malay Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Spanish Swahili Swedish Thai Turkish Ukrainian Urdu Vietnamese

follow InnerSelf on

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconinstagram iconpintrest iconrss icon

 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

Monday, 24 July 2023 19:42

Today, mountains of calorie-rich (and often nutritionally poor) food and lakes of sugary beverages are readily available in much of the world. It’s no longer necessary to leave home — or even stand...

Thursday, 13 May 2021 08:34

Iron deficiency is a common nutritional disorder worldwide, and pre-menopausal women are most at risk of being diagnosed with it.

Monday, 24 July 2023 16:37

Uterine fibroids, or leiomyomas, are benign tumors commonly occurring in the uterus. They affect many women, particularly African Americans, and can lead to clinical symptoms such as abnormal...

Friday, 02 April 2021 08:02

  Microdosing has become something of a wellness trend in recent years. The practice involves taking a low dose of a psychedelic drug to enhance performance, or reduce stress and anxiety.

Sunday, 16 May 2021 14:24

The human body is an amazing thing, full of systems, organs, nerves, and vessels that work together in harmony. You’ve seen the body described as a machine, as a city, or even as a factory....

Monday, 24 May 2021 08:28

There are many valid theories to explain the global appeal of cats, including our obsession with watching videos of them online. In terms of cats’ pure entertainment value, however, our...

New Attitudes - New Possibilities | | | InnerSelf Market
Copyright ©1985 - 2021 InnerSelf Publications. All Rights Reserved.