Introduction: In the case of threatened preterm delivery, repeat administration of antenatal corticosteroids is a common practice in women who have not delivered 7-14 days after the first course of corticosteroids. However, the benefits of this policy as compared to single-course administration have not been proven. Aim: Our purpose was to compare neonatal death and morbidity after repeat antenatal courses of corticosteroids with neonatal death and morbidity after a single course. Methods: We performed a cohort study with matched controls. Neonates treated with repeat antenatal courses of corticosteroids were matched with neonates treated with a single course. Matching criteria were sex, single or multiple gestation, route of delivery, gestational age at delivery and year of birth. Intrauterine growth-restricted infants were matched separately. We excluded neonates with congenital malformation and neonates with an unknown number of antenatal corticosteriod courses. Outcome measures were the incidences of neonatal death, respiratory distress syndrome, intraventricular haemorrhage and necrotizing enterocolitis. Results: From the neonates treated with two or three courses of antenatal corticosteroids, 56 appropriate grown neonates and 24 intrauterine growth-restricted neonates could be matched. The incidences of neonatal death, respiratory distress syndrome, intraventricular haemorrhage and necrotizing enterocolitis did not show statistically significant differences after single and repeat courses of corticosteroids. Appropriate grown and intrauterine growth-restricted neonates showed the same results. Conclusion: From our study, it can be concluded that in preterm neonates, repetition of antenatal corticosteroids seems not to improve neonatal outcome.
- Antenatal corticosteroids
- Preterm delivery
- Repeat courses
- Respiratory distress syndrome