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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-41038

Schäffer, L; Burkhardt, T; Tomaske, M; Schmidt, S; Luzi, F; Rauh, M; Leone, A; Beinder, E (2010). Effect of antenatal betamethasone administration on neonatal cardiac autonomic balance. Pediatric Research, 68(4):286-291.

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Beneficial effects of antenatal glucocorticoid treatment in pregnancies at risk for preterm delivery may entail long-term consequences for the establishment of sympathoadrenergic system balance. We analyzed the cardiac autonomic system activity in neonates with a single course of antenatal betamethasone (2 × 12 mg) treatment by calculating heart rate variability (HRV) time-domain parameters from 24 h ECG recordings and short-term frequency-domain parameters during infant active and resting states. In addition, resting and challenged salivary α-amylase levels were measured in 23 betamethasone-exposed neonates and compared with controls. Indicators for overall HRV (SDNN: p = 0.258; triangular index: p = 0.179) and sympathovagal balance [low- to high-frequency power (LF/HF): p = 0.82 (resting state)] were not significantly different in neonates of the betamethasone treatment group. Parameters mostly influenced by sympathetic activity [SD of the average of valid NN intervals (SDANN): p = 0.184 and SDs of all NN intervals (SDNNi): p = 0.784] and vagal tone [RMSSD: p = 1.0; NN50: p = 0.852; HF: p = 0.785 (resting state)] were unaltered. Resting α-amylase levels were not significantly different in the betamethasone treatment group (p = 0.304); however, α-amylase release after a neonatal challenge was slightly reduced (p = 0.045). Thus, cardiac autonomic balance seems to be preserved in neonates exposed to a single course of antenatal betamethasone treatment.


2 citations in Web of Science®
3 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Obstetrics
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Deposited On:07 Jan 2011 11:17
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:31
Publisher:Lippincott Wiliams & Wilkins
Publisher DOI:10.1203/PDR.0b013e3181ed0cf2
PubMed ID:20581746

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