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Hormonal effects on the fetus and neonate
This month both the leading article and controversy sections of the journal contain reviews of endocrine topics. Long a neglected area in neonatology, these reviews remind us of the importance of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis for health. Brook introduces the contentious topic of treating a pregnant woman known to be carrying a fetus affected with congenital adrenal hyperplasia with high dose dexamethasone, in order to avoid virilisation of her female fetus (pageF176). Although the treatment works, there is a high cost, and information on the long term effects is sparse. Hughes and Kelnar continue the thought provoking debate (pages 178-181). As ever, there is a need for more experience and large scale studies, which will be …