Letters

More trials on early treatment with corticosteroids are needed

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.320.7239.941 (Published 01 April 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:941
  1. N V Subhedar, consultant neonatologist,
  2. A J Bennett, senior registrar, community paediatrics,
  3. S P Wardle, neonatal lecturer,
  4. N J Shaw, consultant neonatologist
  1. Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Liverpool Women's Hospital, Liverpool L8 7SS

    EDITOR—We agree with the sentiments expressed by Tarnow-Mordi and Mitra in their editorial—namely, that randomised controlled trials with longer term follow up are required to answer the question of how corticosteroids affect long term outcome in preterm babies.1

    We have followed up 42 preterm infants enrolled into a randomised controlled trial of early dexamethasone to prevent chronic lung disease.2 Seventeen died before discharge, and a further three died after discharge from hospital. A detailed assessment was performed in 21 of the 22 survivors (one infant lost to follow up) at 30 months of age, corrected for prematurity, with the assessor …

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