Use of Glucocorticoids for the Fetus and Preterm Infant.
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The soon-to-be-delivered fetus and preterm infant have been treated with glucocorticoids to prepare for postnatal life, historically for more than 40 years. The use of glucocorticoids is as much for replacement of cortisol in the setting of a poorly functioning hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in the preterm infant, as it is for prevention of long-term lung dysfunction. Potential negative effects of glucocorticoid treatment on brain development and function have been observed more often with dexamethasone therapy than with use of other glucocorticoids. Overall, glucocorticoid treatment has improved the outcome of the preterm infant.Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.