“Over 1.25 million children who were at least 1 year old assessed for long-term outcomes after preterm exposure to antenatal corticosteroids”

The systematic review and meta-analysis “Evaluation of Long-term Outcomes Associated with Preterm Exposure to Antenatal Corticosteroids” by Kiran Ninan et al. on April 11th 2022, JAMA Pediatrics, generated media interest and was also the subject of a commentary entitled “Use of Antenatal Corticosteroids for Risk of Preterm Birth—Is Timing Everything?” by Dr. Andrea Duncan and colleagues of the CHOP Research Institute in Philadelphia, published in JAMA Pediatrics on April 11th 2022. 

Ninan et al. found that in children born late preterm and at term, the use of antenatal corticosteroids was associated with an increased adjusted risk of neurocognitive and psychological harm. Moreover, half of the children exposed to preterm antenatal corticosteroids ended up being born at term.  

Duncan et al. emphasized this in the commentary, writing that, “As obstetrical and neonatal-perinatal care continue to evolve and improve, findings such as those presented by Ninan et al. should generate new hypotheses and hope.” Moreover, Helio writer Rose Weldon emphasizes a crucial point: “Findings from a systematic review and meta-analysis of long-term outcomes associated with preterm exposure to antenatal corticosteroids suggest that the timing and dose of administration “should be carefully considered.”” Additionally, journalist Amanda D’Ambrosio frames this review as eliciting a paradigm shift on antenatal corticosteroid administration. D’Ambrosio quotes Duncan et al. on how shifting “the timing of receipt” to “the timing of delivery” is crucial. This indicates a major trajectory change for the future of studying this area.  

The study was featured in several online news sites:

Dali S, “Antenatal Corticosteroids Pose Risk of Neurodevelopmental Impairment in Preemies: Study”. Medical Dialogues Daily Dose of Health & Medical News. Published online April 11, 2022. https://medicaldialogues.in/pediatrics-neonatology/news/antenatal-corticosteroids-pose-risk-of-neurodevelopmental-impairment-in-preemies-study-91364.  

D’Ambrosio A, “Antenatal Steroids May Pose Neurologic Risk to Babies Born Full Term—Birth timing—not just dose timing—linked to safety and efficacy of antenatal steroids”. MedPage Today. Published online April 11, 2022. https://www.medpagetoday.com/pediatrics/generalpediatrics/98158.  

Weldon R, “Study findings warrant caution in administering antenatal corticosteroids”. Healio. Published online April 15, 2022. https://www.healio.com/news/primary-care/20220415/study-findings-warrant-caution-in-administering-antenatal-corticosteroids