Treatment with antenatal corticosteroids does not increase the risk of chorioamnionitis ( RR , 95% CI to ; participants = 5546; studies = 15; moderate-quality evidence) or endometritis ( RR , 95% CI to ; participants = 4030; studies = 10; Tau² = , I² = 28%; moderate-quality). No increased risk in maternal death was observed. However, the data on maternal death is based on data from a single trial with two deaths; four other trials reporting maternal death had zero events (participants = 3392; studies = 5; moderate-quality).
In a landmark paper, Liggins and Howie showed that a single course of antenatal corticosteroid therapy administered to women at risk for preterm delivery (PTD) reduced the incidence and severity of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and mortality in offspring [ 1 ]. Over two dozen randomized trials have confirmed these findings [ 2 ]. Subsequent trials have also shown that antenatal corticosteroid therapy improves circulatory stability in preterm neonates, resulting in lower rates of intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) and necrotizing enterocolitis compared with unexposed preterm neonates.