OBJECTIVE: The study objective was to examine the effect of antenatal corticosteroids on the incidence of short-term neonatal morbidities in singletons born during the late preterm period.
STUDY DESIGN: This was a prospective cohort study of singleton gestations at risk of imminent delivery between 34 0/7 and 36 6/7 weeks. Short-term neonatal morbidities were compared between the corticosteroid exposed and non-exposed groups. The rates of Neonatal Morbidity Composite and Any Adverse Neonatal Morbidity were then compared between the two groups.
RESULTS: During the two-year study period, a total of 295 subjects were included. Of those, 74 were exposed to antenatal corticosteroids, while 221 cases constituted the non-exposed group. There was no statistically significant difference in the rate of Any Adverse Neonatal Morbidity (47.3% vs. 40.7% , p = 0.32) or the rate of Neonatal Morbidity Composite (34.4% vs. 37.8% , p = 0.59) between the two groups. Additionally, there was no statistically significant difference in the rates of neonatal intensive care unit admission, respiratory distress syndrome, transient tachypnea of the newborn, hypothermia, and need for phototherapy.
CONCLUSION: Administration of antenatal corticosteroids to parturients at risk of imminent delivery during the late preterm period does not appear to reduce short-term neonatal morbidities.