Evaluation of Hypoglycemia in Neonates of Women at Risk for Late Preterm Delivery: An Antenatal Late Preterm Steroids Trial Cohort Study

Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman*, Kathleen A. Jablonski, Sean C. Blackwell, Alan T.N. Tita, Uma M. Reddy, Lucky Jain, George R. Saade, Dwight J. Rouse, Erin A.S. Clark, John M. Thorp, Edward K. Chien, Alan M. Peaceman, Ronald S. Gibbs, Geeta K. Swamy, Mary E. Norton, Brian M. Casey, Steve N. Caritis, Jorge E. Tolosa, Yoram Sorokin, J. Peter Vandorsten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective In the antenatal late preterm steroids (ALPS) trial betamethasone significantly decreased short-term neonatal respiratory morbidity but increased the risk of neonatal hypoglycemia, diagnosed only categorically (<40 mg/dL). We sought to better characterize the nature, duration, and treatment for hypoglycemia. Study Design Secondary analysis of infants from ALPS, a multicenter trial randomizing women at risk for late preterm delivery to betamethasone or placebo. This study was a reabstraction of all available charts from the parent trial, all of which were requested. Unreviewed charts included those lost to follow-up or from sites not participating in the reabstraction. Duration of hypoglycemia (<40 mg/dL), lowest value and treatment, if any, were assessed by group. Measures of association and regression models were used where appropriate. Results Of 2,831 randomized, 2,609 (92.2%) were included. There were 387 (29.3%) and 223 (17.3%) with hypoglycemia in the betamethasone and placebo groups, respectively (relative risk [RR]: 1.69, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.46-1.96). Hypoglycemia generally occurred in the first 24 hours in both groups: 374/385 (97.1%) in the betamethasone group and 214/222 (96.4%) in the placebo group (p = 0.63). Of 387 neonates with hypoglycemia in the betamethasone group, 132 (34.1%) received treatment, while 73/223 (32.7%) received treatment in placebo group (p = 0.73). The lowest recorded blood sugar was similar between groups. Most hypoglycemia resolved by 24 hours in both (93.0 vs. 89.3% in the betamethasone and placebo groups, respectively, p = 0.18). Among infants with hypoglycemia in the first 24 hours, the time to resolution was shorter in the betamethasone group (2.80 [interquartile range: 2.03-7.03) vs. 3.74 (interquartile range: 2.15-15.08) hours; p = 0.002]. Persistence for >72 hours was rare and similar in both groups, nine (2.4%, betamethasone) and four (1.9%, placebo, p = 0.18). Conclusion In this cohort, hypoglycemia was transient and most received no treatment, with a quicker resolution in the betamethasone group. Prolonged hypoglycemia was uncommon irrespective of steroid exposure. Key Points Hypoglycemia was transient and approximately two-thirds received no treatment. Neonates in the ALPS trial who received betamethasone had a shorter time to resolution than those with hypoglycemia in the placebo group. Prolonged hypoglycemia occurred in approximately 2 out of 100 late preterm newborns, irrespective of antenatal steroid exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-538
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of perinatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 1 2023


  • antenatal corticosteroids
  • antenatal late preterm steroids
  • hypoglycemia
  • late preterm
  • late preterm steroids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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