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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Early (< 8 days) systemic postnatal corticosteroids for prevention of bronchopulmonary dysplasia in preterm infants

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, October 2017
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (90th percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (66th percentile)

Mentioned by

30 tweeters
2 Facebook pages
2 Wikipedia pages


168 Dimensions

Readers on

416 Mendeley
Early (< 8 days) systemic postnatal corticosteroids for prevention of bronchopulmonary dysplasia in preterm infants
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, October 2017
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd001146.pub5
Pubmed ID

Lex W Doyle, Jeanie L Cheong, Richard A Ehrenkranz, Henry L Halliday


Bronchopulmonary dysplasia remains a major problem in neonatal intensive care units. Persistent inflammation in the lungs is the most likely underlying pathogenesis. Corticosteroids have been used to prevent or treat bronchopulmonary dysplasia because of their potent anti-inflammatory effects. To examine the relative benefits and adverse effects of systemic postnatal corticosteroids commenced within the first seven days of life for preterm infants at risk of developing bronchopulmonary dysplasia. For the 2017 update, we used the standard search strategy of Cochrane Neonatal to search the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; 2017, Issue 1); MEDLINE via PubMed (January 2013 to 21 February 2017); Embase (January 2013 to 21 February 2017); and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) (January 2013 to 21 February 2017). We also searched clinical trials databases, conference proceedings, and reference lists of retrieved articles for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-randomised trials. For this review, we selected RCTs examining systemic postnatal corticosteroid treatment within the first seven days of life (early) in high-risk preterm infants. Most studies evaluated the use of dexamethasone, but we also included studies that assessed hydrocortisone, even when used primarily for management of hypotension. We used the GRADE approach to assess the quality of evidence.We extracted and analysed data regarding clinical outcomes that included mortality, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, death or bronchopulmonary dysplasia, failure to extubate, complications during primary hospitalisation, and long-term health outcomes. We included 32 RCTs enrolling a total of 4395 participants. The overall risk of bias of included studies was probably low, as all were RCTs, and most trials used rigorous methods. Investigators reported significant benefits for the following outcomes overall: lower rates of failure to extubate, decreased risks of bronchopulmonary dysplasia both at 28 days of life and at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age, death or bronchopulmonary dysplasia at 28 days of life and at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age, patent ductus arteriosus, and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), including severe ROP. Researchers found no significant differences in rates of neonatal or subsequent mortality; they noted that gastrointestinal bleeding and intestinal perforation were important adverse effects, and that risks of hyperglycaemia, hypertension, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and growth failure were increased. The 13 trials that reported late outcomes described several adverse neurological effects at follow-up examination, including cerebral palsy. However, study authors indicated that major neurosensory disability was not significantly increased, either overall in the eight studies for which this outcome could be determined, or in the two individual studies in which rates of cerebral palsy or abnormal neurological examination were significantly increased. Moreover, data show that rates of the combined outcomes of death or cerebral palsy, or of death or major neurosensory disability, were not significantly increased. Two-thirds of studies used dexamethasone (n = 21). Subgroup analyses by type of corticosteroid revealed that most of the beneficial and harmful effects of treatment were attributable to dexamethasone. However, as with dexamethasone, hydrocortisone was associated with reduced rates of patent ductus arteriosus, mortality, and the combined outcome of mortality or chronic lung disease, but with increased occurrence of intestinal perforation. Results showed that hydrocortisone was not associated with obvious longer-term problems.Use of the GRADE approach revealed that the quality of evidence was high for the major outcomes considered, but review authors downgraded quality one level for several outcomes (mortality at latest age, bronchopulmonary dysplasia at 36 weeks, and death or bronchopulmonary dysplasia at 36 weeks) because of weak evidence of publication bias or moderate heterogeneity (death or cerebral palsy). Benefits of early postnatal corticosteroid treatment (≤ 7 days), particularly dexamethasone, may not outweigh adverse effects associated with this treatment. Although early corticosteroid treatment facilitates extubation and reduces risk of bronchopulmonary dysplasia and patent ductus arteriosus, it causes short-term adverse effects including gastrointestinal bleeding, intestinal perforation, hyperglycaemia, hypertension, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and growth failure. Long-term follow-up studies report increased risk of abnormal findings on neurological examination and increased risk of cerebral palsy. However, the methodological quality of studies examining long-term outcomes is limited in some cases: Surviving children have been assessed predominantly before school age; no study has been sufficiently powered to detect important adverse long-term neurosensory outcomes; and no study has been designed with survival free of adverse long-term neurodevelopmental disability as the primary outcome. There is a compelling need for long-term follow-up and reporting of late outcomes, especially neurological and developmental outcomes, among surviving infants who participated in all randomised trials of early postnatal corticosteroid treatment. Hydrocortisone reduced rates of patent ductus arteriosus, of mortality, and of the combined outcome of mortality or bronchopulmonary dysplasia, without causing any obvious long-term harm. However, gastrointestinal perforation was more frequent in the hydrocortisone group. Longer-term follow-up into late childhood is vital for assessment of important effects or other effects that cannot be assessed in early childhood, such as effects of early hydrocortisone treatment on higher-order neurological functions, including cognitive function, academic performance, behaviour, mental health, and motor function. Further randomised controlled trials of early hydrocortisone should include longer-term survival free of neurodevelopmental disability as the main outcome.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 30 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 416 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 416 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 63 15%
Researcher 55 13%
Student > Bachelor 46 11%
Other 27 6%
Student > Postgraduate 24 6%
Other 79 19%
Unknown 122 29%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 163 39%
Nursing and Health Professions 40 10%
Psychology 15 4%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 13 3%
Social Sciences 10 2%
Other 43 10%
Unknown 132 32%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 23. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 12 December 2020.
All research outputs
of 20,564,572 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 12,076 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 338,948 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 259 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 20,564,572 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 93rd percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,076 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 28.3. This one has done well, scoring higher than 75% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 338,948 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 90% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 259 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 66% of its contemporaries.