Effect of Antenatal Betamethasone Use on Adrenal Gland Size and Endogenous Cortisol and 17-Hydroxyprogesterone in Preterm Neonates
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AIM: To assess the effect of antenatal betamethasone use on adrenal gland size and adrenal hormones in preterm neonates who had gestational ages of 27-36 weeks. INFANTS AND METHODS: Sixty-six neonates divided into two groups: betamethasone group, whose mothers received betamethasone 12 mg two times 24 h apart, and no betamethasone group, whose mothers did not receive any steroid agent during the antenatal period. Serum 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP) levels and cortisol levels were measured during the first six hours of life. In addition, adrenal gland length and width were determined on the first day of life. Hormone tests and ultrasonographic evaluation were repeated on the fifth day of life. RESULTS: We found statistically significant reductions in 17-OHP and cortisol levels at birth in corticosteroid-exposed neonates (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference between the study groups with regard to adrenal gland length and width (p > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that betamethasone use in preterm neonates reduces endogenous 17-OHP and cortisol levels; however, it has no effect on adrenal gland size.
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