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September 27, 1995

Corticosteroids for Fetal Maturation-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dallas

JAMA. 1995;274(12):943. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530120035031

In Reply.  —I would like to thank Dr Patterson for his interest in the recent NIH Consensus Conference article on antenatal corticosteroids. There is no way to cover all the possible clinical scenarios in such a publication; therefore, clinical judgment must be used. As to what a significant risk of premature delivery actually is, I would suggest using the word "likely" in its literal meaning, that is, "of such a nature or circumstance as to make something probable."1 "Probable" in general means "51%" or more, so I would recommend corticosteroid treatment if you think it is probable (not just possible) that a woman will deliver or need to be delivered within 7 days.It should also be pointed out that repetitive dosing of corticosteroids on a weekly basis was not one of the recommendations of the consensus report. The NIH Consensus Development Panel noted that repetitive dosing of corticosteroids

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