HealthDay News — Antenatal administration of corticosteroids is not associated with a reduction in the incidence of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in preterm twins, according to research published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Oscar A. Viteri, MD, from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and colleagues conducted a secondary analysis of a multicenter randomized trial for the prevention of preterm birth in multiple gestations. The authors compared neonatal outcomes for 432 women who received and did not receive antenatal corticosteroids and their 850 neonates.

The researchers found that 35% of neonates were born to women receiving antenatal corticosteroids. Antenatal corticosteroids were not associated with reduced incidence of RDS (27% vs 17%; adjusted relative risk [aRR], 1.28; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.97 to 1.71) or with composite neonatal morbidity (29% vs 20%; aRR, 1.21; 95% CI, 0.93 to 1.56). Increased rates of neonatal intensive care unit admissions (78% vs 59%; aRR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.09 to 1.36) and mechanical ventilation (23% vs 12%; aRR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.12 to 2.09) were seen in association with antenatal corticosteroids. Similar results were seen for RDS and neonatal morbidity in analysis focusing on 311 newborns delivered before 34 weeks of gestation.

“In this cohort of preterm twins, antenatal corticosteroid administration was not associated with a reduced incidence of RDS and composite neonatal morbidity,” the authors wrote.


  1. Viteri OA, Blackwell SC, Chauhan SP, et al. Antenatal Corticosteroids for the Prevention of Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Premature Twins. Obstet Gynecol. 2016. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000001577.