Systemic corticosteroids

Through the first two years, the visual acuity remained about the same in the two groups ( results published in 2011). At seven years, visual acuity on average remained stable in the systemic group but declined about six letters in the implant group. The researchers found that implant-treated eyes had reactivations of uveitis after about five years, which coincided with a decline in visual acuity. The loss of vision in the implant group appears to have been due to increased damage in the retina and choroid (a tissue rich in blood vessels lying underneath the retina). 

There have been no randomized trials examining the effect of hydrocortisone given after the first week of life or used to treat infants with prolonged ventilator dependence. One retrospective cohort study compared infants who required assisted ventilation and oxygen after the first one to two weeks of age and received hydrocortisone with a group of healthier infants who did not receive hydrocortisone. [27] Infants treated with hydrocortisone experienced decreasing oxygen requirements and were successfully weaned from assisted ventilation. After seven days of treatment, there were no differences in oxygen requirements between the two groups. On follow-up, there were no differences in head circumference, neurological outcome, psychomotor development or school performance. Magnetic resonance imaging performed at eight years of age on a similar cohort of infants treated with hydrocortisone showed that although, overall, children born preterm had significantly reduced grey matter volumes compared to term children, there were no differences in the intracranial volumes, grey matter volumes or white matter volumes between children who did and did not receive hydrocortisone for treatment of CLD. [28] There were also no differences in neurocognitive outcomes, assessed using the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children.

Twenty-one RCTs enrolling a total of 1424 participants were eligible for this review . All were RCTs , but methods used for random allocation were not always clear. Allocation concealment, blinding of the intervention , and blinding of outcome assessments most often were satisfactory. Late steroid treatment was associated with a reduction in neonatal mortality (at 28 days) but no reduction in mortality at 36 weeks, at discharge, or at latest reported age. Benefits of delayed steroid treatment included reductions in failure to extubate by 3, 7, or 28 days; bronchopulmonary dysplasia both at 28 days of life and at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age; need for late rescue treatment with dexamethasone; discharge on home oxygen; and death or bronchopulmonary dysplasia both at 28 days of life and at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age. Data revealed a trend towards increased risk of infection and gastrointestinal bleeding but no increase in risk of necrotising enterocolitis. Short-term adverse affects included hyperglycaemia , glycosuria, and hypertension . Investigators reported an increase in severe retinopathy of prematurity but no significant increase in blindness. Trial results showed a trend towards reduction in severe intraventricular haemorrhage, but only five studies enrolling 247 infants reported this outcome . Trends towards an increase in cerebral palsy or abnormal neurological examination findings were partly offset by a trend in the opposite direction involving death before late follow-up. The combined rate of death or cerebral palsy was not significantly different between steroid and control groups. Major neurosensory disability and the combined rate of death or major neurosensory disability were not significantly different between steroid and control groups. There were no substantial differences between groups for other outcomes in later childhood, including respiratory health or function, blood pressure, or growth, although there were fewer participants with a clinically important reduction in forced expired volume in one second (FEV 1 ) on respiratory function testing in the dexamethasone group.

Systemic corticosteroids

systemic corticosteroids

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