||Preterm delivery is a major cause of death and illness in infants. Corticosteroid treatment of pregnant women delivering prematurely was first introduced in 1972 to enhance fetal lung maturity. A 1994 NIH consensus panel concluded, in part, that giving corticosteroids to pregnant women at risk for preterm delivery reduces the risk of death and various serious illnesses in their preterm infants. The panel noted, however, that the benefits and risks of giving more than one course of prenatal corticosteroids during a pregnancy were unknown and called for additional research. The current conference will feature presentations on the latest research in this area. An independent, non-Federal consensus development panel will weigh the scientific evidence and draft a statement, addressing the following questions:
· Is the evidence on benefits and risks of repeat courses of prenatal corticosteroids sufficient to permit consensus recommendations?
· If so, what are the recommendations?