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Cuna A, Lagatta JM, Savani RC, Vyas-Read S, Engle WA, Rose RS, DiGeronimo R, Logan JW, Mikhael M, Natarajan G, Truog WE, Kielt M, Murthy K, Zaniletti I, Lewis TR; Children's Hospitals Neonatal Consortium (CHNC) Severe BPD Focus Group. Association of time of first corticosteroid treatment with bronchopulmonary dysplasia in preterm infants. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2021 Aug 11.

Objective: To evaluate the association between the time of first systemic corticosteroid initiation and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in preterm infants.

Study design: A multi-center retrospective cohort study from January 2010 to December 2016 using the Children’s Hospitals Neonatal Database and Pediatric Health Information System database was conducted. The study population included preterm infants <32 weeks’ gestation treated with systemic corticosteroids after 7 days of age and before 34 weeks’ postmenstrual age. Stepwise multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the association between timing of corticosteroid initiation and the development of Grade 2 or 3 BPD as defined by the 2019 Neonatal Research Network criteria.

Results: We identified 598 corticosteroid-treated infants (median gestational age 25 weeks, median birth weight 760 g). Of these, 47% (280 of 598) were first treated at 8-21 days, 25% (148 of 598) were first treated at 22-35 days, 14% (86 of 598) were first treated at 36-49 days, and 14% (84 of 598) were first treated at >50 days. Infants first treated at 36-49 days (aOR 2.0, 95% CI 1.1-3.7) and >50 days (aOR 1.9, 95% CI 1.04-3.3) had higher independent odds of developing Grade 2 or 3 BPD when compared to infants treated at 8-21 days after adjusting for birth characteristics, admission characteristics, center, and co-morbidities.

Conclusions: Among preterm infants treated with systemic corticosteroids in routine clinical practice, later initiation of treatment was associated with a higher likelihood to develop Grade 2 or 3 BPD when compared to earlier treatment.

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