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  1. Martin Ward Platt
  1. Neonatal Service, Neonatal Service (Ward 35), Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr. Martin Ward Platt, Neonatal Service, Neonatal Service (Ward 35), Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP, UK; m.p.ward-platt{at}

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Postnatal steroids for bronchopulmonary dysplasia

While there are many strategies for reducing the risk of BPD, the place of corticosteroids remains uncertain in spite of its long history. This month we publish a network meta-analysis by Zhang et al which evaluates the relative benefits and harms of the different steroids and different modes of administration. Network meta-analysis is itself a relatively new statistical technique which allows inferences to be drawn about the relative effectiveness of therapies even when there have been no direct trials between certain combinations of therapies. We will shortly be publishing a paper which explains network meta-analysis and we hope that we will see more papers like Zeng’s in the future. However, we must also be cautious: as with all meta-analyses, there are underlying assumptions and value judgements, and the accompanying Editorial by Henry Halliday succinctly summarises where the important gaps remain in our current knowledge. In particular, we need to know more about early low dose hydrocortisone, inhaled budesonide, and budesonide given with surfactant. See page F506 and F500

Stem cells and BPD

Genome sequencing and stem cell treatments share a rosy public perception as panaceas that will one day …

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