Am J Perinatol 1999; 16(3): 151-156
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-993849

© 1999 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.

Functional Residual Capacity and Pulmonary Mechanics in Premature Infants Receiving a 12-Day Dexamethasone Course

Modestus Lee, Paulett Diah, Alfred N. Krauss, Peter A.M. Auld
  • Perinatology Center, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, New York, New York
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Publication History

Publication Date:
04 March 2008 (online)


The objective of this paper is to determine the effects of a 12-day dexamethasone course of the pulmonary function of preterm infants. The design consisted of a consecutive sample of eligible patients, before-after trial. The Regional referral center neonatal ICU was the setting. The patients were 13 preterm infants, 545-1315 g, requiring mechanical ventilation. The following was used: Intravenous dexamethasone for a 12-day tapering course beginning at 0.5 mglkg every 12 hr. Main outcome measures were as follows: Measurements of functional residual capacity (FRC), compliance, resistance, arterial blood gases and alveolar-arterial differences, level of ventilatory assistance, weight, length. All measures of pulmonary function demonstrated significant improvement by Day 12 of treatment. Most improvement occurred in the first 6 days of treatment, in association with increased lung volume.