Among the three groups, researchers found significant differences in rates of death, complications such as bleeding in the brain (severe intracranial hemorrhage), intestinal problems (necrotizing enterocolitis), lung disease (bronchopulmonary dysplasia) and brain and nervous system impairment. Infants in the complete treatment group fared best. Infants in the partial treatment group fared better than untreated infants. The study team also found evidence that the better outcomes likely were due to lower rates of bleeding in the brain and of a brain injury called cystic periventricular leukomalacia. Overall, these findings suggest that starting steroid treatment promptly — even if the likelihood of completion is low — is beneficial when extremely premature birth is imminent.