Objective: Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) affect foetal outcome. Labetalol is frequently used to lower maternal blood pressure and prolong pregnancy. Conflicting evidence exists for specific neonatal side effects described after maternal labetalol treatment. Our aim was to investigate neonatal effects of foetal exposure to labetalol on cerebral oxygenation and extraction.
Methods: In a prospective observational study, clinical characteristics, vital parameters and cerebral oxygen delivery and extraction were collected during the first 24?h of life in labetalol-exposed preterm neonates and compared with two control groups.
Results: Twenty-two infants with a mean gestational age of 28.9 weeks, born from labetalol-treated mothers with HDP were included and matched with 22 infants with non-labetalol-treated mothers with HDP and 22 infants without maternal HDP. No significant differences between groups were found neither in heart rate, blood pressure and inotropic support, nor in mean regional cerebral oxygen saturation and fractional tissue oxygen extraction.
Conclusion: Foetal labetalol exposure associated effects on preterm heart rate, blood pressure, cerebral oxygenation and extraction are not demonstrated. Maternal disease severity seems to play a more important role in neonatal cerebral haemodynamics. Maternal labetalol treatment has no clinically important short term side effects in the preterm neonate.
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