Obstetrician patterns of steroid administration for the prenatal management of congenital pulmonary airway malformations

Aziz, K.*, Jelin, A.C., Keiser, A.M., Schulkin, J., Jelin, E. | JNPM 2021;


BACKGROUND: Congenital pulmonary airway malformation (CPAM) is the most common prenatally-diagnosed lung malformation. This lesion, classified as macrocystic or microcystic, can lead to significant fetal compromise. Management options include observation, maternal antenatal steroid administration, and fetal surgical intervention. Current evidence suggests that microcystic (but not macrocystic) lesions and those with a cyst volume ratio (CVR) >1.6 are responsive to steroid therapy. The objective of this study was to identify patterns of prenatal steroid administration for the management of CPAMs and to identify characteristics of CPAMs prompting steroid administration.

METHODS: An 18-question survey was distributed to obstetricians from the Pregnancy-Related Care Research Network (PRCRN) and the North American Fetal Therapy Network (NAFTNet), from January to April 2019, to capture antenatal steroid prescribing patterns.

RESULTS: Response rates were 28.3% (138/487) for PRCRN and 63.3% (19/30) for NAFTNet. Among PRCRN members, 16.8% administered prenatal steroids, with most (77.2%) doing so for both microcystic and macrocystic CPAMs; corresponding percentages for NAFTNet members were 90.9% and 52.6%. Two thirds (65.6%) of obstetricians who administer steroids do so for a CVR > 1.6, without evidence of mediastinal shift or hydrops fetalis.

CONCLUSIONS: There is a lack of consensus among obstetricians as to the CPAM characteristics that should prompt administration of prenatal steroids. Many surveyed obstetricians do not use cyst type or CVR to guide decision-making regarding steroid therapy.

*Corresponding Author: 

Khyzer B. Aziz, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, 1800 Orleans Street Baltimore, MD, 21287, USA. Tel.: +1 410 955 4510; Fax: +1 410 955 0298; E-mail: kaziz5@jhmi.edu.