The rate of preterm birth has steadily increased in the United States over the past 10 years. This increase is driven in part by the rising rate of late preterm birth, defined as those births occurring between 34 and 36 weeks. Late preterm infants experience a higher rate of readmission than their term counterparts, and these infants are more likely to suffer complications such as respiratory distress, kernicterus, feeding difficulties, and hypoglycemia. Late preterm infants also have a higher mortality for all causes when compared to term infants. The use of antenatal corticosteroids has been shown to be beneficial in women at risk for preterm delivery prior to 34 weeks but has not been evaluated in those likely to deliver in the late preterm period.
This study is a randomized placebo controlled trial to evaluate whether antenatal corticosteroids can decrease the rate of neonatal respiratory support, thus decreasing the rate of NICU admissions and improving short-term outcomes in the late preterm infant.
Principal Investigator: Michael Varner
Department: Maternal-Fetal Medicine