Steroids at 34-36 weeks’ and before term cesarean decrease respiratory distress syndrome
Should antenatal corticosteroid treatment be used for women at risk of late premature delivery or women undergoing planned cesarean delivery?
For women admitted for imminent premature delivery at 34 to 36 weeks of gestation, 1 or 2 doses of betamethasone or dexamathasone (8-12 mg) decreases the likelihood
of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome and shortens lengths of stay in the intensive care unit. One or two doses given to women 48 hours before a planned cesarean delivery at term is also effective in decreasing respiratory distress. Neonatal hypoglycemia is increased but, as shown in a separate study, there is no long-term harm to treatment, at least up to ages 6 to 8 years (Pediatrics 2016; 138(4):e20160947). (LOE = 1a)
Saccone S, Berghella V. Antenatal corticosteroids for maturity
of term or near term fetuses: systematic review and meta-analysis of
randomized controlled trials. BMJ 2016;355:i5044.