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Postnatal glucocorticosteroid therapy for treatment and prevention of neonatal chronic lung disease

, : Postnatal glucocorticosteroid therapy for treatment and prevention of neonatal chronic lung disease. Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs 9(1): 53-67

Neonatal chronic lung disease (CLD) is a persistent complication, primarily of premature infants. Postnatal glucocorticoid therapy is widely used in the treatment and prevention of CLD. Most studies reveal acute improvement in the pulmonary status of infants treated with postnatal glucocorticoid therapy. Recent studies of 'earlier' intervention (< 14 days of age) demonstrated a reduction in mortality and in the occurrence of CLD between 28 days of age and 36 weeks postmenstrual age. Great concern remains, however, regarding the potential adverse outcomes, including growth inhibition, infection, catastrophic GI complications and CNS injury. Therefore, the use of postnatal glucocorticoid therapy remains controversial with respect to the clinical indications for initiating therapy, the dose, duration, onset and route of administration, as well as potential benefits and risks. Inhaled glucocorticoid therapy is increasingly used to treat and prevent CLD in order to avoid adverse effects of high dose systemic glucocorticoid therapy. Recent studies with inhaled glucocorticoid therapy show promise. Further work, however, for improving aerosol delivery and deposition, will be needed to refine their role in the prevention and treatment of CLD. Future studies enabling early, accurate identification of infants at greatest risk for CLD, coupled with a more comprehensive understanding of the different pathogeneses, will provide information regarding appropriate timing of onset, dosing, route of therapy and duration of intervention.


PMID: 11060660

DOI: 10.1517/13543784.9.1.53

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