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Antenatal betamethasone prevented respiratory distress syndrome in late preterm infants
  1. Helen Moore1,
  2. Vikranth Venugopalan2
  1. 1 Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2 Department of Neonatology, City Hospital, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Helen Moore, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK; hels1813{at}

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Women with singleton pregnancy 34 weeks to 36+5 weeks with high probability of late preterm delivery. Women who had previously had glucocorticoid steroids, or whose delivery was expected within 24 hours, or patients with known fetal anomaly or non-reassuring fetal status, were excluded.


1429 women randomised to betamethasone and 1402 to placebo. Subsequent management was dictated by clinical condition. The groups were balanced for major factors except age (28.6 years in the betamethasone group vs 27.6 years in the placebo group) and Hispanic ethnic group (28.3% in the betamethasone group vs 32% in the placebo group).


Primary outcome: need for respiratory support, stillbirth and neonatal death within the first 72 hours. Secondary outcomes: severe respiratory complications, transient tachypnoea of …

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  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.