Prenatal Administration of Betamethasone and Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Multifetal Pregnancies: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Author(s): Fatemeh Abbasalizadeh, Khadijeh Pouya, Raana Zakeri, Rana Asgari-Arbat*, Shamsi Abbasalizadeh, Neda Parnianfard

Journal Name: Current Clinical Pharmacology
Continued as Current Reviews in Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology

Volume 15 , Issue 2 , 2020

Graphical Abstract:


Background: Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome (NRDS) is one of the most frequent causes of neonatal mortality especially in premature infants. Although it has been well established that maternal antenatal corticosteroid therapy has a positive effect on NRDS reduction, yet the effectiveness of this treatment in multifetal pregnancies is dubious.

Objective: We aimed to investigate the effect of betamethasone therapy on the incidence of NRDS in multifetal pregnancies through a randomized controlled trial.

Methods: 140 women with a multifetal pregnancy at less than 28 weeks’ gestational age were randomly allocated into intervention and control groups. Women at the intervention group received intramuscularly betamethasone (12 mg/kg/BW twice). Neonatal outcomes were evaluated between two groups of intervention and control, and two subgroups of preterm and term births. This study is registered with the Iranian Clinical Trials Registry, number IRCT20180227038879N1.

Results: The incidence of NRDS was significantly lower in infants of betamethasone group than the ones in the control group (4.9% vs 18.1%, P=0.034) while it did not show a significant reduction in preterm infants compared to mature ones. Also, the intervention group presented a significant lower neonatal ventilation than the control group (47.2% vs 63.2%, P=0.041). Other neonatal outcomes, including age at birth, birth weight, Apgar score, NICU admission, and the number of mortalities were not significantly different between study groups.

Conclusion: Betamethasone therapy during 28-32 weeks of gestation in multifetal pregnancies was associated with better neonatal outcomes through significant reductions in NRDS incidence and requiring ventilator treatment. However, betamethasone administration did not reduce the chance of NRDS in premature infants.

Keywords: Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, multifetal pregnancies, betamethasone, antenatal corticosteroid, clinical trial, gestation.

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Article Details

Year: 2020
Published on: 07 October, 2019
Page: [164 - 169]
Pages: 6
DOI: 10.2174/1574884714666191007154936

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