Death or neurodevelopmental impairment at 18 to 22 months corrected age in a randomized trial of early dexamethasone to prevent death or chronic lung disease in extremely low birth weight infants.

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the incidence of death or neurodevelopmental impairment (NDI) at 18-22 months corrected age in subjects enrolled in a trial of early dexamethasone treatment to prevent death or chronic lung disease in extremely low birth weight infants. STUDY DESIGN: Evaluation of infants at 18-22 months corrected age included anthropomorphic measurements, a standard neurological examination, and the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-II, including the Mental Developmental Index and the Psychomotor Developmental Index. NDI was defined as moderate or severe cerebral palsy, Mental Developmental Index or Psychomotor Developmental Index <70, blindness, or hearing impairment. RESULTS: Death or NDI at 18-22 months corrected age was similar in the dexamethasone and placebo groups (65% vs 66%, P = .99 among those with known outcome). The proportion of survivors with NDI was also similar, as were mean values for weight, length, and head circumference and the proportion of infants with poor growth (50% vs 41%, P = .42 for weight less than 10th percentile); 49% of infants in the placebo group received treatment with corticosteroid compared with 32% in the dexamethasone group (P = .02). CONCLUSION: The risk of death or NDI and rate of poor growth were high but similar in the dexamethasone and placebo groups. The lack of a discernible effect of early dexamethasone on neurodevelopmental outcome may be due to frequent clinical corticosteroid use in the placebo group.
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    Published In


  • CLD, Chronic lung disease, ELBW, Extremely low birth weight, GI, Gastrointestinal, MDI, Mental Developmental Index, NDI, Neurodevelopmental impairment, PDI, Psychomotor Developmental Index, Cause of Death, Child Development, Chronic Disease, Developmental Disabilities, Dexamethasone, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Double-Blind Method, Follow-Up Studies, Glucocorticoids, Humans, Incidence, Infant, Infant, Extremely Low Birth Weight, Injections, Intravenous, Lung Diseases, Neurologic Examination, Retrospective Studies, Survival Rate, Time Factors, Treatment Outcome, United States
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Stark AR; Carlo WA; Vohr BR; Papile LA; Saha S; Bauer CR; Oh W; Shankaran S; Tyson JE; Wright LL
  • Start Page

  • 34
  • End Page

  • 39.e2
  • Volume

  • 164
  • Issue

  • 1