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Safety of topical corticosteroids in pregnancy

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, October 2015
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (92nd percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (75th percentile)

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Title
Safety of topical corticosteroids in pregnancy
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, October 2015
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd007346.pub3
Pubmed ID
Authors

Ching-Chi Chi, Shu-Hui Wang, Fenella Wojnarowska, Gudula Kirtschig, Emily Davies, Cathy Bennett, Chi, Ching-Chi, Wang, Shu-Hui, Wojnarowska, Fenella, Kirtschig, Gudula, Davies, Emily, Bennett, Cathy

Abstract

Topical corticosteroids are the most frequently prescribed dermatological treatment and are often used by pregnant women with skin conditions. However, little is known about their safety in pregnancy. To assess the effects of topical corticosteroids on pregnancy outcomes in pregnant women. This is an update of a review previously published in 2009. We updated our searches of the following databases to July 2015: the Cochrane Skin Group Specialised Register, the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group Specialised Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (2015, Issue 6), MEDLINE, EMBASE, and LILACS. We also searched five trials registers and checked the reference lists of included studies, published reviews, articles that had cited the included studies, and one author's literature collection, for further references to relevant RCTs. Randomised controlled trials and cohort studies of topical corticosteroids in pregnant women, as well as case-control studies comparing maternal exposure to topical corticosteroids between cases and controls when studies reported pre-specified outcomes. The primary outcomes included mode of delivery, major congenital abnormality, birth weight, and preterm delivery (delivery before 37 completed weeks gestation); the secondary outcomes included foetal death, minor congenital abnormality, and low Apgar score (less than seven at 5 min). We used standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane. Two authors independently applied selection criteria, extracted data, and assessed the quality of the included studies. A third author was available for resolving differences of opinion. A further author independently extracted data from included studies that were conducted by authors of this systematic review. We included 7 new observational studies in this update, bringing the total number to 14, including 5 cohort and 9 case-control studies, with 1,601,515 study subjects.Most studies found no causal associations between maternal exposure to topical corticosteroids of any potency and pregnancy outcomes when compared with no exposure. These outcomes included: mode of delivery (risk ratio (RR) 1.04, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.95 to 1.15, 1 cohort study, n = 9904, low quality evidence); congenital abnormalities, including orofacial cleft or cleft palate and hypospadias (where the urethral opening is on the underside of the penis) (RR 0.82, 95% CI 0.34 to 1.96, 2 cohort studies, n = 9512, low quality evidence; and odds ratio (OR) 1.07, 95% CI 0.71 to 1.60, 1 case-control study, n = 56,557); low birth weight (RR 1.08, 95% CI 0.86 to 1.36; n = 59,419, 4 cohort studies; very low quality evidence); preterm delivery (RR 0.93, 95% CI 0.81 to 1.08, 4 cohort studies, n = 59,419, low quality evidence); foetal death (RR 1.02, 95% CI 0.60 to 1.73, 4 cohort studies, n = 63,885, very low quality evidence); and low Apgar score (RR 0.84, 95% CI 0.54 to 1.31, 1 cohort study, n = 9220, low quality evidence).We conducted stratified analyses of mild or moderate potency, and potent or very potent topical corticosteroids, but we found no causal associations between maternal exposure to topical corticosteroid of any potency and congenital abnormality, orofacial clefts, preterm delivery, or low Apgar score. For low birth weight, although the meta-analysis based on study-level data was not significant for either mild to moderate corticosteroids (pooled RR 0.90, 95% CI 0.74 to 1.09, 3 cohort studies, n > 55,713) or potent to very potent corticosteroids (pooled RR 1.58, 95% CI 0.96 to 2.58, 4 cohort studies, n > 47,651), there were significant differences between the two subgroups (P = 0.04). The results from three of the individual studies in the meta-analysis indicated an increased risk of low birth weight in women who received potent to very potent topical corticosteroids. Maternal use of mild to moderate potency topical steroids was associated with a decreased risk of foetal death (pooled RR 0.70, 95% CI 0.64 to 0.77, 2 studies, n = 48,749; low quality evidence), but we did not observe this effect when potent to very potent topical corticosteroids were given during pregnancy (pooled RR 1.14, 95% CI 0.69 to 1.88, 3 studies, n = 37,086, low quality evidence).We used the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) Working Group approach to rate the overall quality of the evidence. Data from observational studies started at low quality. We further downgraded the evidence because of imprecision in low birth weight and inconsistency in foetal death. Lower quality evidence resulted in lower confidence in the estimate of effect for those outcomes. This update adds more evidence showing no causal associations between maternal exposure to topical corticosteroids of all potencies and pregnancy outcomes including mode of delivery, congenital abnormalities, preterm delivery, foetal death, and low Apgar score, which is consistent with the previous version of this review. This update provides stratified analyses based on steroid potency; we found no association between maternal use of topical corticosteroids of any potency and an increase in adverse pregnancy outcomes, including mode of delivery, congenital abnormality, preterm delivery, foetal death, and low Apgar score. Similar to the previous version of the review, this update identified a probable association between low birth weight and maternal use of potent to very potent topical corticosteroids, especially when the cumulative dosage of topical corticosteroids throughout the pregnancy is very large, which warrants further investigation. The finding of a possible protective effect of mild to moderate topical corticosteroids on foetal death could also be examined.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 35 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 69 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Australia 2 3%
Spain 1 1%
Japan 1 1%
Unknown 65 94%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 17 25%
Researcher 9 13%
Student > Postgraduate 8 12%
Student > Doctoral Student 7 10%
Student > Bachelor 6 9%
Other 22 32%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 47 68%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 5 7%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 3 4%
Nursing and Health Professions 3 4%
Arts and Humanities 2 3%
Other 9 13%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 24. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 14 June 2017.
All research outputs
#341,569
of 7,922,235 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#1,511
of 8,718 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#17,140
of 242,941 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#64
of 266 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 7,922,235 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 95th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 8,718 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 17.1. This one has done well, scoring higher than 82% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 242,941 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 92% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 266 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 75% of its contemporaries.