Long-term follow-up of prenatally treated children at risk for congenital adrenal hyperplasia: Does dexamethasone cause behavioural problems?
2008 (English)In: European Journal of Endocrinology, ISSN 0804-4643, E-ISSN 1479-683X, Vol. 159, no 3, 309-316 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Objectives: To investigate the long-term effects of prenatal treatment of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) with emphasis on behavioural problems and temperament.
Design: A population-based long-term follow-up study of Swedish children at risk for virilising CAH, who had received treatment prenatally with dexamethasone (DEX). The questionnaire-based follow-up was performed when the children had reached school age.
Methods: Standardised parent-completed questionnaires were used to evaluate adaptive functioning, behavioural/emotional problems and psychopathology, social anxiety and temperament in DEX-exposed school-aged children (<i>n</i>=26) and matched controls (<i>n</i>=35). In addition, the association between parental questionnaires and children's self-ratings was investigated.
Results: There were no statistically significant differences between DEX-exposed children and controls in measures of psychopathology, behavioural problems and adaptive functioning. In a questionnaire on temperamental traits, DEX-exposed children were described by their parents as being more sociable than controls (<i>P</i>=0.042). The correlation analysis showed only modest parent–child agreement on social anxiety, i.e. the increased social anxiety in children's self-ratings was not confirmed by their parents.
Conclusions: DEX-treated children showed good overall adjustment. The parent–child agreement with respect to social anxiety was modest, highlighting the importance of multiple information sources and assessment methods. The clinical significance of the observed difference in sociability cannot be determined within the frameworks of this study. Additional studies of larger cohorts are essential to make more decisive conclusions on the safety of the treatment. Until then, it is important that parents are thoroughly informed about the benefits and potential risks and uncertainties of this controversial treatment.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 159, no 3, 309-316 p.
congenital adrenal hyperplasia, Dexamethasone, behavioral problems
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-14728DOI: 10.1530/EJE-08-0280ISI: 000260408900014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-14728DiVA: diva2:181248