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The effects of betamethasone treatment on clinical and laboratory features of pregnant women with HELLP syndrome.

Author(s): Ozer A, Kanat-Pektas M, Ozer S, Tapisiz OL, Zulfikaroglu EE, Danisman N

Affiliation(s): Department of Perinatology, Dr. Zekai Tahir Burak Women Health Research and Education Hospital, Ankara, Turkey.

Publication date & source: 2009-07, Arch Gynecol Obstet., 280(1):65-70. Epub 2008 Dec 14.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial

AIM: The present study aims to investigate the effects of betamethasone treatment on clinical outcome and laboratory data of pregnant women diagnosed with HELLP (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count) syndrome. METHODS: A prospective, randomized and placebo-controlled clinical trial was undertaken in a total of 60 pregnant women with HELLP syndrome who were treated at the perinatology department of the study center between January 2005 and February 2008. Betamethasone treatment (intramuscular injection of 12 mg in every 24 h) was given to 30 subjects while remaining 30 subjects received placebo. The treatment and control groups were compared in the aspects of clinical outcome and laboratory data. RESULTS: The alterations in platelet counts, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase and lactate dehydrogenase levels of women treated with betamethasone were statistically similar to those of the placebo group. Although there was a significant decrease in diastolic blood pressure values of control group (P = 0.04), alterations in systolic blood pressure values were statistically indifferent in both study groups. Hematological and metabolic complications occurred significantly less in women treated with betamethasone (P < 0.05). Interestingly, the percentage of women who received platelet transfusion was significantly higher in the control group (P < 0.005). No case of maternal mortality occurred. CONCLUSIONS: The betamethasone treatment has ended up with insignificant alterations in clinical outcomes and laboratory data of women with HELLP syndrome except beneficial effects on metabolic complications and need for platelet transfusion. Further investigation is required to assess the efficiency of betamethasone in management of HELLP syndrome.

Page last updated: 2009-10-20

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