Association between antenatal corticosteroids and neonatal hypoglycemia in indicated early preterm births*

Spencer G. Kuper, Sima H. Baalbaki, Melissa M. Parrish, Victoria C. Jauk, Alan T. Tita, Lorie M. Harper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: We sought to determine if administration of antenatal corticosteroids in early preterm births (<34 weeks) is associated with an increased risk of developing neonatal hypoglycemia (<40 mg/dL) within the first 48 h of neonatal life. Materials and methods: Retrospective cohort of all indicated singleton preterm births (23−34 weeks) in a single tertiary center from 2011 to 2014. The primary outcome was neonatal hypoglycemia (<40 mg/dL) within the first 48 h of life. The outcome was compared by antenatal corticosteroids received at any point during the gestation, within 2–7 d of delivery, and whether the patient received a partial, full, or repeat course of antenatal corticosteroids. Logistic regression was used to adjust for confounders. Results: Six hundred thirty-five patients underwent an indicated preterm birth during the study period. Six hundred and four (95%) received antenatal corticosteroids prior to delivery and 31 (5%) did not. The incidence of neonatal hypoglycemia within 48 h of life was not significantly different between those who received any antenatal corticosteroids and those who did not (23.0 versus 16.1%, adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.3, 95%CI 0.5–3.6). Infants who received a full antenatal corticosteroid course within 2–7 d of delivery had similar incidences of hypoglycemia compared with those who received antenatal corticosteroids more than 7 d before delivery (20.4 versus 25.4%, adjusted OR 1.5, 95% confidence interval(CI) 0.8–2.9). Neonatal hypoglycemia was not increased by the number of antenatal corticosteroid doses (partial, full, or repeat course) administered. There was not a correlation between timing of antenatal corticosteroid administration before delivery, up to 250 h, and the lowest neonatal blood sugar in the first 48 h of life. Conclusion: Our findings suggest antenatal corticosteroid administration in indicated early preterm infants (<34 weeks) may not increase the risk of developing neonatal hypoglycemia within the first 48 h of life. Further studies should validate our findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3095-3101
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Antenatal corticosteroids
  • indicated preterm birth
  • neonatal hypoglycemia
  • preterm birth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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