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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


OGATA, Joice Fabiola Meneguel et al. Costs of hospitalization in preterm infants: impact of antenatal steroid therapy. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2016, vol.92, n.1, pp.24-31. ISSN 0021-7557.


To estimate the costs of hospitalization in premature infants exposed or not to antenatal corticosteroids (ACS).


Retrospective cohort analysis of premature infants with gestational age of 26-32 weeks without congenital malformations, born between January of 2006 and December of 2009 in a tertiary, public university hospital. Maternal and neonatal demographic data, neonatal morbidities, and hospital inpatient services during the hospitalization were collected. The costs were analyzed using the microcosting technique.


Of 220 patients that met the inclusion criteria, 211 (96%) charts were reviewed: 170 newborns received at least one dose of antenatal corticosteroid and 41 did not receive the antenatal medication. There was a 14-37% reduction of the different cost components in infants exposed to ACS when the entire population was analyzed, without statistical significance. Regarding premature infants who were discharged alive, there was a 24-47% reduction of the components of the hospital services costs for the ACS group, with a significant decrease in the length of stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). In very-low birth weight infants, considering only the survivors, ACS promoted a 30-50% reduction of all elements of the costs, with a 36% decrease in the total cost (p = 0.008). The survivors with gestational age <30 weeks showed a decrease in the total cost of 38% (p = 0.008) and a 49% reduction of NICU length of stay (p = 0.011).


ACS reduces the costs of hospitalization of premature infants who are discharged alive, especially those with very low birth weight and <30 weeks of gestational age.

Keywords : Preterm infant; Costs and cost analysis; Hospitalization; Glucocorticoids.

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