The Effect of Betamethasone Dosing Interval on Perinatal Outcomes: 12 Hours or 24 Hours Apart

Bulut A. N., Ceyhan V., Cundubey C. R., AYDIN E.

American Journal of Perinatology, vol.40, no.12, pp.1351-1358, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 40 Issue: 12
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1055/s-0041-1735962
  • Journal Name: American Journal of Perinatology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.1351-1358
  • Keywords: preterm birth, prematurity, betamethasone, respiratory distress syndrome, necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Objective Antenatal steroids are commonly used to stimulate fetal lung maturation, particularly in pregnancies at risk of early preterm labor. This study aimed to compare the effects of administering betamethasone at a 12- versus 24-hour interval on perinatal outcomes. Study Design This retrospective study included 423 early preterm births from 26 +0/7 to 33 +6/7 weeks of gestation. Patients received betamethasone at either a 12- or 24-hour dosing interval. Results When all patients in each group were evaluated together, there was no statistically significant difference between both groups for complications of prematurity, including respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). When the two groups were divided by gestational age (GA), the 32 +0/7 to 33 +6/7 -week group that received betamethasone at a 24-hour interval had statistically lower 1- and 5-minute APGAR scores (p = 0.06 and p = 0.02, respectively). They also had a greater need for neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), NICU length of stay, RDS, and need for surfactant (p = 0.20, p = 0.09, p = 0.27, and p = 0.23, respectively) than did the infants at 32 +0/7 to 33 +6/7 weeks, who received betamethasone at a 12-hour interval. In the group with GA between 28 +0/7 and 29 +6/7 weeks, the 1-minute APGAR score was lower (p = 0.22), and the durations of hospital stay, and mechanical ventilation were longer (p = 0.048, p = 0.21, respectively) in the 24-hour interval group. No statistically significant difference was observed for all parameters in other GA groups. Conclusion A 12-hour dosing interval for betamethasone appears to be more appropriate, as it results in a reduction in some neonatal complications and provides a short dose interval.