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Review: antenatal magnesium sulphate prevents cerebral palsy in preterm infants

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Question

In women at risk of preterm delivery, does magnesium sulphate provide neuroprotection for the fetus?

Review scope

Included studies compared magnesium sulphate (administered intravenously, intramuscularly, or orally) with placebo, no treatment, or an alternate treatment (control) as a neuroprotective agent for the fetus when given to women at risk of preterm delivery. Studies in which the primary aim was other than fetal neuroprotection (eg, treatment of pre-eclampsia or preterm labour) were included if long-term infant neurological outcomes were reported. Outcomes were fetal/infant death, cerebral palsy, neurological impairment, and maternal side effects (such as nausea, vomiting, headache, palpitations, and flushing).

Review methods

Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group’s Trials Register (which contains results of searches of Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Medline, 30 journals, and major conference proceedings) was searched in August 2008 for randomised controlled trials (RCTs). 5 articles describing 6 …

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