Increased fetal colonic muscle contractility following glucocorticoid and thyroxine therapy: Implications for meconium passage

B. Ross, K. Bradley, Mark J Nijland, D. H. Polk, M. G. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The incidence of meconium-stained amniotic fluid increases with advanced gestational age and fetal stress, and meconium passage is likely dependent on fetal colonic muscle function. Antenatal hormone exposure improves fetal pulmonary and cardiovascular function. We hypothesized that in utero exposure to steroid or thyroid hormones effect an increase in fetal distal colonic muscle contractility. In a randomized controlled study 126-day (term 145 days) ovine fetuses were treated with a single ultrasound-guided intramuscular injection of 0.5 mg/kg betamethasone (n = 5), betamethasone plus 60 μg/kg thyroxine (n = 5), or saline (n = 7). After 48 h, fetuses (128 days) were delivered, distal colon segments were removed, and peak tension responses to bethanechol (10-8 to 10-3 M) characterized in vitro. Peak muscle tensions were significantly greater in fetuses exposed to combined betamethasone and thyroxine therapy (989 ± 190 g/cm2) than in saline- treated animals (509 ± 91 g/cm2). There was difference in the maximum tension response between betamethasone alone (559 ± 75 g/cm2) and the saline animals. The bethanechol ED50 values (2.1 ± 0.5 x 10-5 M) were not different among the three groups. Antenatal fetal betamethasone and thyroid hormone treatment increases fetal colonic muscle contractility. We speculate that endogenous or exogenous fetal maturational agents may facilitate the passage of meconium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-133
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Betamethasone
Meconium
Thyroxine
Glucocorticoids
Muscles
Bethanechol
Fetus
Thyroid Hormones
Therapeutics
Muscle Tonus
Intramuscular Injections
Amniotic Fluid
Gestational Age
Sheep
Colon
Steroids
Hormones
Lung
Incidence

Keywords

  • betamethasone
  • distal colon
  • meconium
  • thyroxine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Increased fetal colonic muscle contractility following glucocorticoid and thyroxine therapy : Implications for meconium passage. / Ross, B.; Bradley, K.; Nijland, Mark J; Polk, D. H.; Ross, M. G.

In: Journal of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Vol. 6, No. 3, 1997, p. 129-133.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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