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Kandraju H, Kanungo J, Lee KS, Daspal S, Adie MA, Dorling J, Ye XY, Lee SK, Shah PS; Canadian Neonatal Network (CNN); Canadian Preterm Birth Network (CPTBN) Investigators. Association of Co-Exposure of Antenatal Steroid and Prophylactic Indomethacin with Spontaneous Intestinal Perforation. J Pediatr. 2021 Mar 16:S0022-3476(21)00226-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2021.03.012. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33741365.

Objective: To evaluate the association of a combined exposure to antenatal steroids and prophylactic indomethacin with the outcome of spontaneous intestinal perforation (SIP) among neonates born at <26 weeks of gestation or <750 g birth weight.

Study design: We conducted a retrospective study of preterm infants admitted to Canadian Neonatal Network units between 2010 and 2018. Infants were classified into 2 groups based on receipt of antenatal steroids; the latter subgrouped as recent (≤7 days before birth) or latent (>7 days before birth) exposures. The co-exposure was prophylactic indomethacin. The primary outcome was SIP. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to calculate aORs.

Results: Among 4720 eligible infants, 4121 (87%) received antenatal steroids and 1045 (22.1%) received prophylactic indomethacin. Among infants exposed to antenatal steroids, those who received prophylactic indomethacin had higher odds of SIP (aOR 1.61, 95% CI 1.14-2.28) compared with no prophylactic indomethacin. Subgroup analyses revealed recent antenatal steroids exposure with prophylactic indomethacin had higher odds of SIP (aOR 1.67, 95% CI 1.15-2.43), but latent antenatal steroids exposure with prophylactic indomethacin did not (aOR 1.24, 95% CI 0.48-3.21), compared with the respective groups with no prophylactic indomethacin. Among those not exposed to antenatal steroids, mortality was lower among those who received prophylactic indomethacin (aOR 0.45, 95% CI 0.28-0.73) compared with no prophylactic indomethacin.

Conclusions: In preterm neonates of <26 weeks of gestation or birth weight <750 g, co-exposure of antenatal steroids and prophylactic indomethacin was associated with SIP, especially if antenatal steroids was received within 7 days before birth. Among those unexposed to antenatal steroids, prophylactic indomethacin was associated with lower odds of mortality.

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