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Maternal Epidural Steroids to Prevent Neonatal Exposure to Hyperthermia and Inflammation.

Goodier, Christopher; Newman, Roger; Hebbar, Latha; Ross, Julie; Schandl, Cynthia; Goetzl, Laura.
Am J Perinatol; 2018 Nov 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30388714


Epidural analgesia is associated with a fourfold increased rate of intrapartum fever. The likely pathophysiology is a noninfectious maternal inflammatory activation. Safe interventions to reduce maternal and neonatal exposures to intrapartum fever and inflammation are needed.


The purpose of this study was to determine if prophylactic epidural steroids decrease fetal exposure to hyperthermia and inflammatory cytokines following epidural analgesia.


Randomized, double-blinded, placebo controlled trial. Term nulliparous women requesting epidural analgesia received 80 mg methylprednisolone or preservative-free normal saline via the epidural catheter at placement. The primary outcome was maternal temperature >100.4°F. Secondary outcomes included fetal exposure to inflammation as assessed by cord blood interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels and rates of funisitis. Power analysis estimated a sample size requirement of 276, but new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendations advising a black box warning on epidural steroids resulted in early study termination.


A total of 116 subjects were enrolled: 58 treatments and 58 placebos. There was no difference in the rate of maternal intrapartum fever or cord blood IL-6 levels between treatment arms. No complications listed in the FDA warning occurred.


Prophylactic epidural methylprednisolone was not effective in reducing intrapartum fever or neonatal inflammation following epidural analgesia. Alternate mechanisms and preventative strategies should be considered.
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