Comparative Study of the Effectiveness of Thyroxine and Steroids on Reduction of Neonatal Morbidity: Outcome at 20 Months Follow-up

Gloria Reyes-Báez, Ana R. González, Gloria Gómez-Raspaldo, Iliana Blasini, Cintia E. Rivera


This study analyzes health, growth and neurodevelopmental outcome of infants who received prenatal corticosteroids with or without thyroxine for fetal lung maturation. During a 12 month period infants from a prospective double blind study who received either steroids or steroids combined with thyroxine for pulmonary maturation and who had reached 18 months of age were recalled for evaluation of health status, growth parameters and neurodevelopmental outcome using the Bayley Scales 2nd edition (BSID-II). Mental developmental index (MDI), psychomotor developmental index (PDI), language developmental age (LDA), cognitive developmental age (CDA), and behavioral rating scales (BRS) were compared for the two treatment groups. The Hollingshead Socioeconomic Status Index was determined for each infant. Of a total of 134 patients enrolled during the study period, 66 patients return for follow up. Data from 60 patients was included in the final analysis. Of these, 32 had received the combination regimen and 28 had solely received only steroids. Demographics and neonatal morbidity were similar in both groups. No statistical differences in growth parameters, hospital admissions, respiratory problems, surgical procedures or frequency of infections were found. Neurodevelopmental parameters (MDI, PDI) were similar in both treatment groups, although, below normal in both groups. Language delay was more common in infants who received prenatal corticosteroids. There were no difference in the incidence of neurologic abnormalities. The addition of thyroxine to steroids did not affect growth or neuro-developmental outcome of the infants at 18 to 22 postnatal age.

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