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Evid Based Nurs 5:9 doi:10.1136/ebn.5.1.9
  • Treatment

Review: early postnatal corticosteroids reduce chronic lung disease in preterm infants, but increase complications

Early postnatal corticosteroids (PCs) (<96 h after birth) v control in at risk, preterm infants*

Weighted event rates
Outcomes Number of studies (n) Early PCs Control RRR (95% CI) NNT (CI)
Chronic lung disease (CLD) at 28 days 14 (1831) 39% 48% 21% (13 to 29) 10 (8 to 17)
CLD at 36 weeks postmenstrual age 13 (1653) 16% 26% 38% (25 to 49) 10 (8 to 17)
Death or CLD at 28 days 13 (1533) 54% 63% 14% (6 to 21) 12 (8 to 25)
Death or CLD at 36 weeks postmenstrual age 15 (2415) 43% 50% 14% (6 to 21) 15 (10 to 34)
Need for late steroids 9 (1865) 34% 48% 30% (22 to 37) 8 (6 to 10)
RRI (95% CI) NNH (CI)
*Abbreviations defined in glossary; RRR, RRI, NNT, NNH, and CI calculated from data in article using a fixed effects model.
Hyperglycaemia 11 (2016) 40% 27% 48% (32 to 66) 8 (6 to 10)
Hypertension 10 (1946) 22% 12% 84% (54 to 121) 10 (8 to 15)
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy 1 (50) 52% 12% 333% (40 to 1240) 3 (2 to 6)
Growth failure 1 (50) 80% 12% 567% (127 to 1860) 2 (2 to 3)
Gastrointestinal bleeding 9 (1440) 12% 6% 90% (35 to 166) 17 (12 to 34)
Intestinal perforation 9 (1871) 8% 4% 98% (32 to 195) 25 (17 to 50)
Developmental delay 1 (248) 34% 20% 68% (8 to 161) 8 (5 to 34)
Cerebral palsy 2 (510) 21% 9% 132% (48 to 265) 9 (6 to 17)
Death or cerebral palsy 2 (510) 53% 39% 35% (11 to 64) 8 (5 to 20)

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