Antenatal corticosteroid treatment is globally recommended for women at risk of giving birth before 34 weeks of gestation. In Japan, data on the rate of completing recommended antenatal corticosteroid treatment are lacking. This study aimed to: (i) determine the proportion of patients treated for threatened preterm birth with tocolysis who received antenatal glucocorticoids; and (ii) analyze the association between long-term tocolysis and antenatal glucocorticoids treatment as recommended.
This was a retrospective cohort study using a national inpatient database in Japan. We selected pregnant women who had undergone treatment in hospitals due to threatened preterm birth and received the tocolytic ritodrine hydrochloride by infusion from July 2010 to March 2016, and delivered at < 34 weeks of gestation. The primary outcome was receiving of antenatal glucocorticoid treatment as recommended. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to evaluate factors associated with receiving antenatal glucocorticoid treatment.
Only 23% of 4048 eligible patients received glucocorticoid treatment as recommended. Those with longer durations of ritodrine hydrochloride infusion were significantly less likely to receive glucocorticoid treatment as recommended.
In Japan, many patients who receive tocolytic treatment for threatened preterm birth do not receive antenatal glucocorticoid treatment as recommended. Recommended treatment based on apparent evidences should be performed for the patients with threatened preterm birth.