Changes in Maternal Heart Rate and Autonomic Regulation following the Antenatal Administration of Corticosteroids: A Secondary Analysis

Maretha Bester (Corresponding author), Rohan Joshi, Joyce H.A.M. van Dooren, Massimo Mischi, Rik Vullings, Judith O.E.H. van Laar

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftTijdschriftartikelAcademicpeer review

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While the effect of antenatally administered corticosteroids on fetal heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) is well established, little information is available on how these drugs affect maternal physiology. In this secondary analysis of a prospective, observational cohort study, we quantify how corticosteroids affect maternal HR and HRV, which serve as a proxy measure for autonomic regulation. Abdominal ECG measurements were recorded before and in the five days following the administration of betamethasone-a corticosteroid commonly used for fetal maturation-in 46 women with singleton pregnancies. Maternal HR and HRV were determined from these recordings and compared between these days. HRV was assessed with time- and frequency-domain features, as well as non-linear and complexity features. In the 24 h after betamethasone administration, maternal HR was significantly increased (p < 0.01) by approximately 10 beats per minute, while HRV features linked to parasympathetic activity and HR complexity were significantly decreased (p < 0.01 and p < 0.001, respectively). Within four days after the initial administration of betamethasone, HR decreases and HRV features increase again, indicating a diminishing effect of betamethasone a few days after administration. We conclude that betamethasone administration results in changes in maternal HR and HRV, despite the heterogeneity of the studied population. Therefore, its recent administration should be considered when evaluating these cardiovascular metrics.

Originele taal-2Engels
Artikelnummer588
Aantal pagina's14
TijdschriftJournal of Clinical Medicine
Volume12
Nummer van het tijdschrift2
DOI's
StatusGepubliceerd - 11 jan. 2023

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