Navigation Links
Multiple corticosteroid injections in pregnant women may increase cerebral palsy

CHAPEL HILL -- When pregnant women are at high risk for preterm birth, giving them a single injection of corticosteroids has been shown to reduce the babys chances of having serious lung problems after birth.

But some women receive multiple injections of corticosteroids, and a new study shows that repeat courses of corticosteroids are linked to an increased rate of cerebral palsy among children of these mothers.

Our study shows that you get almost all of the benefit from a single round of therapy and that multiple rounds raise the risk of cerebral palsy, which is a severely disabling condition, said John M. Thorp, M.D., a study co-author and McAllister distinguished professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

Thats why we concluded that exposure to repeat courses should be limited, Thorp said.

The study results are published in the Sept. 20, 2007, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The lead author is Ronald J. Wapner, M.D., of Drexel University in Philadelphia. The study was conducted for the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which provided grant funding. Research took place at 14 sites across the United States, including UNC-Chapel Hill.

The researchers followed women between 23 weeks and 32 weeks pregnant who remained pregnant after an initial dose of corticosteroids. They were randomly assigned to receive weekly courses of the corticosteriod betamethasone or placebo injections.

Children born to women enrolled in the study were given physical and neurological examinations at ages 2 to 3 years old. A total of 556 children were examined. Of these, 486 (87.4 percent) had physical exams and 465 (83.6 percent) were evaluated for brain function using a measurement tool called the Bayley Scales of Infant Development.

The researchers found that there were no meaningful differences in weight, head circumference or Bayley scores between children whose mothers received a single dose of corticosteroids. However, six children in the group whose mothers received multiple injections had cerebral palsy, compared to only one child in the placebo group.

Although not statistically significant, the rate of cerebral palsy in infants exposed to multiple courses is of concern and suggests that exposure to repeat courses of antenatal corticosteroids should be limited, the researchers concluded.

The Sept. 20 issue also includes a separate study that examined the same question and an editorial that discusses both studies. The editorial was written by Alan D. Stiles, M.D., Brewer distinguished professor and chairman of pediatrics in the UNC School of Medicine.

The other study reached similar results, with one key difference: the researchers found smaller head sizes among the infants exposed to repeat courses of corticosteroids. But the study authors reached a different conclusion from Thorp and his co-authors, in favor of using repeat courses.

In the editorial, Stiles noted that both studies found that repeat courses produced better results than single courses in terms of reducing lung problems in the infants. However, both studies also found lower birth weights in the infants exposed to repeat courses.

More information is needed before it is clear which strategy is optimal, Stiles wrote. Further study is warranted of school-age neurodevelopmental performance, including the possible increased risk of cerebral palsy among these children, as well as among offspring of women in other trials of weekly corticosteroid therapy, with attention to the doses used.


Contact: Stephanie Crayton
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Related medicine news :

1. Naked DNA Vaccination May Conquer Arthritis and Multiple Sclerosis
2. Antidepressants come in handy for patients on treatment for hepatitis, cancers and multiple sclerosis
3. Plasma Exchange Of No Use In Multiple Myeloma
4. Multiple Sclerosis Can Be Treated By Blocking Fat Hormone
5. Multiple organ disease cured by genes
6. Associated therapy for multiple myeloma
7. Latest drug shows promise in multiple myeloma
8. Adult stem cells in treatment for Multiple sclerosis (MS)
9. Life Quality For Patients With Multiple Sclerosis
10. Effective Pain Relief For Patients Suffering From Multiple Sclerosis
11. The Link Between Hepatitis B Vaccine And Multiple Sclerosis Questioned
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Chiropractic student Katie Benson received a $2,500 ... Park, Kansas. Benson, a fifth-trimester student in the university’s College of Chiropractic, accepted ... 16. , “Katie is very excited and greatly appreciative to receive the Standard ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Sir ... customer service: the TrustDale certification. The award recognizes good companies for excellence in ... , tile and grout, and hard surface restoration company earned this recognition after ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Bibliomotion ... Ford and Detroit Taught Me about Reinvention and Diversity by Nancy M. Schlichting, ... people suffer, with hospitals failing to adequately address the needs of patients and their ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Dr. Kevin Day, local family ... community stress less this holiday season. During the Indiana winter months, Vitamin D ... and the team at AlignLife want to help provide the tools needed to combat ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... IL (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... All her life, Don Peck’s mother ... Even her obituary said she might have been. After a 25-year search for information, ... voyager with whom she shared a last name. Turns out, it was Don’s father ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... st  Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological ... in Chicago on Nov-29 th through ... st  Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of ... Chicago on Nov-29 th through Dec-4 th ... will present its revolutionary whole body CZT digital SPECT/CT solution at ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 Teledyne DALSA , a Teledyne Technologies ... will introduce its CMOS X-Ray detector for mammography ... to December 3, at McCormick Place in Chicago ... and interventional imaging will be on display in the South ... advanced CMOS X-Ray detectors is the industry benchmark for high ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Boston Scientific Corporation ... the Oppenheimer 26th Annual Healthcare Conference on December 8, ... Susie Lisa , vice president, Investor Relations, will ... analyst beginning at approximately 8:35 a.m. ET. --> ... participate in a 30-minute question-and-answer session with the host ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: