Functional residual capacity and passive compliance measurements after antenatal steroid therapy in preterm infants

Cindy McEvoy, Susan Bowling, Kathleen Williamson, Marion Stewart, Manuel Durand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Studies in preterm animal models have shown that antenatal corticosteroids enhance lung maturation by improving a variety of physiologic variables, including lung volumes. Changes in lung volume of preterm infants treated with a full course of antenatal steroids have not been investigated. We hypothesized that a full course of antenatal steroids would significantly increase functional residual capacity (FRC) in treated vs. untreated preterm infants. The objective of our study was to compare FRC and respiratory mechanics in steroid treated vs. untreated preterm infants. FRC and passive respiratory mechanics were prospectively studied within 36 hr of life in 20 infants (25-34 weeks of gestation) who had received a full course of antenatal steroids and in 20 matched untreated preterm infants. FRC was measured with the nitrogen washout method, and respiratory mechanics with the single-breath occlusion technique. Preterm infants who received steroids (n = 20; mean birth weight = 1,230 g; gestational age = 28.8 weeks) had a significantly higher FRC (29.5 vs. 19.3 mL/kg; P < 0.001) than untreated infants (n = 20; birth weight = 1,202 g; gestational age = 28.5 weeks). Passive respiratory system compliance was also increased in treated vs. untreated infants (P < 0.05). In conclusion, FRC and passive respiratory system compliance were significantly improved in preterm infants (25-34 weeks gestation) treated with a full course of antenatal steroids, compared to matched untreated infants. Although this study was not randomized, it confirms that antenatal steroids have important effects on pulmonary function that may contribute to a decreased risk of respiratory distress syndrome in treated preterm infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-430
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric pulmonology
Volume31
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 21 2001

Keywords

  • Antenatal corticosteroids
  • Functional residual capacity
  • Neonatology
  • Preterm infants
  • Respiratory compliance
  • Respiratory distress syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Functional residual capacity and passive compliance measurements after antenatal steroid therapy in preterm infants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this