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Randomised controlled trial
Prophylactic low-dose hydrocortisone treatment increases the rate of survival without bronchopulmonary dysplasia in extremely preterm infants
  1. Anton van Kaam,
  2. Wes Onland
  1. Department of Neomatology, Emma Children's Hospital Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to: Professor Anton van Kaam, Department of Neonatology, Emma Children's Hospital Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam 1105 AZ, The Netherlands; a.h.vankaam{at}

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Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a common complication of preterm birth, with a reported incidence of 40% in extremely preterm infants (<28 weeks gestation).1 BPD is associated with an increased risk of long-term pulmonary and neurodevelopmental morbidity.2 The corticosteroid dexamethasone reduces the risk of BPD in preterm infants, but its use has been discouraged due to the risk for short-term (gastrointestinal perforation) and long-term (cerebral palsy) adverse effects.3

The corticosteroid hydrocortisone has been suggested as a safe and effective alternative for dexamethasone but, to date, studies comparing hydrocortisone to placebo have …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.