Dexamethasone-induced leucocytosis in pregnancy

Fiona C. Denison, Catherine L. Elliott, Euan M. Wallace

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The effect of intramuscular dexamethasone administration in late pregnancy on the maternal peripheral white cell count was examined in 20 women. The mean total white cell count increased from a baseline of 11-3 × 109/L (SD 2-3) to 16-2 × 109/L (SD 4-6) on day 1, normalising thereafter. This 43% increase represented composite changes in the neutrophil and lymphocyte counts which, on average, increased by 62% and decreased by 22%, respectively. It is concluded that prenatal dexamethasone induces a significant neutrophilia on the first day following administration. This information may be helpful when monitoring for infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)851-853
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1997
Externally publishedYes

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