Prenatal dexamethasone (DEX) treatment in congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is effective in reducing virilization in affected girls, but potential long-term adverse effects are largely unknown. In this report we intended to explore potential side effects of DEX therapy to enhance the adequacy of future risk benefit analyses of DEX treatment. We investigated the long-term effects of first trimester prenatal DEX treatment on behavioral problems and temperament in children and adolescents aged 7–17 years. The study included 34 children and adolescents, without CAH, who had been exposed to DEX during the first trimester and 67 untreated controls. Standardized parent-completed questionnaires were used to evaluate adaptive functioning and behavioral/emotional problems (CBCL), social anxiety (SPAI-C-P), and temperament (EAS) in the child. Self-reports were used to assess the children's perception of social anxiety (SASC-R). No statistically significant differences were found between DEX-treated and control children and adolescents, suggesting that, in general, healthy children treated with DEX during early fetal life are well adjusted.
Hormones and Behavior – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 2018
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