Published online by Cambridge University Press: 15 November 2017
Despite the long-term focus on its prevention, preterm birth remains the leading cause of neonatal death, and the second leading cause of under-5 mortality, after pneumonia, worldwide. Of those babies who survive, many have severe long-term physical and neurodevelopmental morbidity. Management options for pregnant women with threatened preterm birth focus on delaying delivery using tocolysis, and administering antenatal therapy such as corticosteroids and, more recently, magnesium sulfate (for fetal lung development and neuroprotection respectively) to improve outcome for the infant once born. Given that most women who present with preterm contractions do not go on to deliver preterm infants, the challenge is to identify the appropriate recipients of these therapies.