The weight of current data indicates that the benefits of a single course of antenatal glucocorticoids outweigh any potential risks. However, studies are ongoing to determine if antenatal steroid therapy is associated with significant adult disease with excessive morbidity and mortality. Since fetal glucocorticoids have been shown to affect maturation of the fetal cardiovascular system as well as other systems, further studies are needed to evaluate the ways in which fetal exposure may alter the trajectory of development in beneficial and potentially detrimental ways. Hence, continued research to develop alternatives to benefit fetal and neonatal outcomes resulting from preterm births should continue. Until shown otherwise by these ongoing studies, the use of antenatal steroid therapy for women at risk for preterm birth remains the standard of care in the United States and is encouraged whenever preterm birth appears imminent.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology