Early (4-7 days of age) dexamethasone therapy for prevention of chronic lung disease in preterm infants

Hirokazu Tsukahara, Yasuhiro Watanabe, Motoko Yasutomi, Ritsuyo Kobata, Satoshi Tamura, Kouki Kimura, Masahiro Hiraoka, Mitsufumi Mayumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We conducted a comparative study to evaluate whether early (4-7 days of age) low-dose dexamethasone (DEX) therapy in preterm infants with surfactant-pretreated respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) would facilitate extubation and improve the clinical outcome. Twenty-six preterm infants with surfactant-pretreated RDS who were oxygen- and ventilator-dependent at 4 days of postnatal age were enrolled. Twelve infants were in the historical comparison group, and 14 infants were assigned to receive DEX 0.125 mg/kg i.v., every 12 h, for a total of 6 doses. At study entry, the two groups had a comparable clinical status. DEX therapy significantly facilitated weaning from mechanical ventilation (median interval, 6 vs. 24 days, p < 0.005) and shortened duration of oxygen supplementation (9 vs. 28 days, p < 0.05) as compared with the historical comparison group. At 28 days of age, the occurrence of chronic lung disease (CLD) was significantly lower (1/14 vs. 6/12, p < 0.05) and there was a significant decrease in the incidence of ventilator dependence (0/14 vs. 5/12, p < 0.05) in the DEX group. DEX therapy did not influence the incidence of significant complications such as infection, periventricular leukomalacia or retinopathy of prematurity. We conclude that in a selected high-risk group of preterm infants, early low-dose DEX treatment results in improvement in pulmonary outcome without significant side effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-290
Number of pages8
JournalBiology of the Neonate
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic lung disease
  • Early dexamethasone therapy
  • Preterm infants
  • Respiratory distress syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Biology


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