Postnatal steroids in extremely low birth weight infants: betamethasone or hydrocortisone?

Authors

  • Mohamed Ben Said,

    1. Neonatology, University Hospital Croix Rousse, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France
    2. Faculty of Medicine of Tunis, University of Tunis El-Manar, Tunis, Tunisia
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  • Stéphane Hays,

    1. Neonatology, University Hospital Croix Rousse, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France
    2. Rhone-Alpes Human Nutrition Research Center, Pierre Bénite, France
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  • Claire-Marie Loys,

    1. Neonatology, University Hospital Croix Rousse, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France
    2. Lyon-Sud Charles Merieux Medical School, Claude Bernard University Lyon 1, Pierre Bénite, France
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  • Ludivine Coletto,

    1. Neonatology, University Hospital Croix Rousse, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France
    2. Lyon-Sud Charles Merieux Medical School, Claude Bernard University Lyon 1, Pierre Bénite, France
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  • Isabelle Godbert,

    1. Neonatology, University Hospital Croix Rousse, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France
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  • Jean-Charles Picaud

    Corresponding author
    1. Rhone-Alpes Human Nutrition Research Center, Pierre Bénite, France
    2. Lyon-Sud Charles Merieux Medical School, Claude Bernard University Lyon 1, Pierre Bénite, France
    • Neonatology, University Hospital Croix Rousse, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France
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Correspondence

J.C Picaud, M.D., Ph.D., Service de Néonatologie, Hôpital de la Croix Rousse, 103 Grande rue de la Croix Rousse, Lyon 69004, France.

Tel: +33-472-001-550 |

Fax: +00 33 4 72 00 41 25 |

Email: jean-charles.picaud@chu-lyon.fr

Abstract

Aim

To compare the efficacy and tolerance of betamethasone (BTM) and hydrocortisone (HC) in weaning extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) from the ventilator.

Methods

Monocentric, retrospective, cohort analysis based on prospective, standardized collection of data between 2005 and 2011 in ELBW receiving postnatal steroids (PS) after the second week of life. We used BTM for the first 4 years, and thereafter HC. We compared extubation rates, growth, glycaemia and blood pressure.

Results

Sixty-seven infants received PS: 35 BTM and 32 HC. Most infants (83% BTM vs. 72% HC) were extubated during treatment (p = 0.281). During PS, the need for insulin was similar. Mean arterial blood pressure was similar at day 3 of PS, but was significantly lower in infants treated by BTM 30 days after the end of treatment. The z-scores for body weight and head circumference indicated significantly greater loss in BTM than HC group. This persisted only for body weight after adjustment for differences in energy intake and corticosteroid dose.

Conclusion

Our study suggests that HC may be as efficient as BTM in facilitating the extubation of ELBW infants, without short-term adverse effects. Blood pressure monitoring and investigation of long-term neurodevelopment are nevertheless needed.

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