The influence of prenatal steroid therapy on the occurrence of respiratory disorders and the use of respiratory support in prematurely born infants

Katarzyna Szymoniak, Dominika Stasik, Dorota Ćwiek, Małgorzata Zimny, Regina Powirska-Swęd, Krystyna Czechowska


Introduction: Neonatology is a constantly developing branch of medicine. As it has developed, there has been a reduction in mortality rates among prematurely born infants. The main problem faced by premature infants is respiratory disorders. The frequency of neonatal respiratory failure is inversely proportional to the gestational age and the maturity of the gas exchange system.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of steroid therapy in pregnant women on the occurrence of respiratory distress and the need for respiratory support in premature neonates.

Materials and methods: The study covered 100 premature infants born in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Zdroje Specialist Independent Public Health Care Centre in Szczecin. The newborns were divided into research groups, which consisted of newborns with prenatal steroid therapy, and a control group, which consisted of newborns without steroid therapy. The study was retrospective and was carried out based on the analysis of medical records.

Results: Breathing disorders were more frequent in newborns who had received steroid therapy before birth than in children without teroid therapy. Respiratory failure occurred in children who had received both 1 or 2 doses of prenatal steroid therapy. A similar percentage of children, with and without the use of steroid therapy, required mechanical ventilation. Continuous positive airway pressure was applied both in children who had received steroids during pregnancy and those who had not. However, newborns who had received steroids during pregnancy required respiratory support for a shorter time.

Conclusions: 1. Prenatal steroid therapy does not reduce respiratory disorders in prematurely born children. 2. Respiratory support is required more often by newborns without steroid therapy during pregnancy.


prenatal steroid therapy; premature infant; respiratory disorders

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Copyright (c) 2022 Katarzyna Szymoniak, Dominika Stasik, Dorota Ćwiek, Małgorzata Zimny, Regina Powirska-Swęd, Krystyna Czechowska

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