The Taiwanese conclusions were reached within the context that the window of exposure to dexamethasone in critically ill ELBW infants spans an extensive period of perinatal viability, ranging from 24 to 40 weeks post-conception. It is during this time that the human brain undergoes significant structural and functional transformations, thereby making it particularly vulnerable to external influences.
Clinical studies examining acute dexamethasone effects on physiology and central nervous system function in premature infants have been limited.
Past research into premature infants who received prolonged dexamethasone therapy experience reduced linear growth, decreased weight gain, and smaller head circumferences. During the acute phase of dexamethasone exposure, changes in gross neuromotor function have also been noted. As a result, use of dexamethasone to improve pulmonary function in ventilator-dependent ELBW infants is undergoing significant modification towards more judicious treatment dexamethasone therapy is given less often and shorter courses are now used.
The concern remains that little is known about dexamethasone effects on long-term neurodevelopment. For obvious reasons, human testing is not desired. Researchers have previously developed a rat mo
Contact: Mayer Resnick
American Physiological Society