Antenatal rescue corticosteroids and perinatal outcome

Nishat Ahtar, Parul Singh, Naghma Shahrukh, Aleena Haider


Background: Antenatal corticosteroids (ACS) is one of the most effective intervention for prevention of neonatal complications in preterm babies. However, due to its transient effects, single repeat course is recommended. This rescue course of ACS is believed to improve feto-maternal outcome in women with preterm labor and was the subject matter of this study.

Methods: Total 200 antenatal women who were admitted for threatened preterm labor, between 28 to 34 weeks of gestation, who had already received a single course of ACS within 7-14 days were allocated into group A and group B. Group A included 100 women, who were given rescue course of ACS. Group B included 100 women who rescue course was not given.

Results: Out of 115 babies in group A and 114 babies in group B, 18 babies (16%) in group A and 30 babies (26%) in group B had NICU admission (p<0.05). Eight babies (6%) in group A and 23 babies (20%) in group B were diagnosed with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) where the difference was statistically highly significant (p<0.001). Maternal outcome was similar among both the groups.

Conclusions: A single repeat rescue course of ACS helps to improve neonatal outcome in preterm babies.


Antenatal corticosteroids, Respiratory distress syndrome, Preterm labor

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