Amer J Perinatol 2018; 35(02): 146-151
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1606188
Original Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Corticosteroid Therapy in Neonatal Septic Shock—Do We Prevent Death?

Gabriel Altit1, Myriam Vigny-Pau1, Keith Barrington1, Véronique G. Dorval1, Anie Lapointe1
  • 1Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada
Further Information

Publication History

06 June 2017

19 July 2017

Publication Date:
24 August 2017 (eFirst)


Objective The aim was to compare survival of patients with septic shock receiving or not hydrocortisone (HC) and to analyze the hemodynamic response to HC.

Study Design It is a retrospective study of 62 premature neonates with septic shock (confirmed bacteremia) and/or necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) stage 2 and above receiving inotropes with or without HC. We analyzed survival and hemodynamic response to HC.

Results Thirty-nine (63%) premature neonates received HC and were compared with 23 (37%) who only received inotropes. Vasoactive index score (VAI) decreased and blood pressure, urine output, and oxygen requirements improved significantly following HC. Despite receiving more inotropes (VAI of 33 [20–53] vs 10 [8–20], p < 0.001), being more premature (26 ± 2 vs 27 ± 2 weeks, p = 0.02) and more frequently having NEC (64 vs 26%, p = 0.004), patients who received HC had similar survival from septic episode (death: 22% vs 41%, p = 0.12). However, patients receiving HC during their sepsis were less likely to survive at their 1-year postmenstrual age follow-up when accounted for gestational age (GA) at birth and duration of inotropes (hazard ratio 6.08 p = 0.01).

Conclusion HC was used in infants with increased inotropic support. HC during septic shock was associated with similar survival from episode, but with decreased survival at 1-year postmenstrual age.

Authors' Contributions

Gabriel Altit designed the protocol, did the data extraction and data analysis, and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. Myriam Vigny-Pau helped with data extraction. Veronique Dorval, Anie Lapointe. and Keith Barrington worked on protocol design and data analysis and approved the manuscript.