Repeated antenatal corticosteroids: Effects on cerebral palsy and childhood behavior

N.P. French, Ronald Hagan, Sharon Evans, A. Mullan, John Newnham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

231 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This study was undertaken to determine the effects of repeated courses of antenatal corticosteroids on childhood behavior and disabilities, including cognitive delay and cerebral palsy.Study design: Nonrandomized regional cohort of 541 very preterm infants born in Western Australia from singleton pregnancies and alive at 3 years were included in the study.Main outcome measures: Physical, cognitive, and psychological assessments up to 6 years.Results: Increasing numbers of antenatal corticosteroid courses were associated with a reduction in the rate of cerebral palsy. Three or more courses were also associated with increased rates of aggressive/destructive, distractible, and hyperkinetic behavior and these effects were present at both ages 3 and 6 years. Measures of internalizing behavior and intelligence quotient were unaffected by antenatal corticosteroid use.Conclusion: Repeated antenatal courses of corticosteroids-may protect against cerebral palsy but are associated with hyperactivity later in childhood. (C) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)588-595
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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