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Postnatal dexamethasone (DEXA) for bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) during the first week of life increases the risk of cerebral palsy.1 DEXA use beyond the first week of life also raises concerns as to neurodevelopmental outcome.2 Thus, a safe and efficacious alternative corticosteroid preparation is needed. We highlight the issue of postnatal steroid use in preterm infants, a rather important unresolved dilemma for the clinician. Starting January 2002, we replaced DEXA by oral betamethasone (BETA) for BPD. We report our experience regarding efficacy and safety of BETA in extremely low birthweight (ELBW) infants with BPD.
During the study period, 291 ELBW infants <28 weeks were born, of whom 35 (12%) met inclusion criteria: birth weight 500–999 g; gestational age <28 weeks; mechanical ventilation ≥7 days; survival with BPD; need for >30% FiO …
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