Infectious Diseases
Internal Medicine

Systemic corticosteroids effective and safe for treating severe community-acquired pneumonia

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Adjunctive corticosteroids can provide survival benefits and improve clinical outcomes in patients with severe community-acquired pneumonia (sCAP), while maintaining a favorable safety profile, according to a study.

In this systematic review and meta-analysis, 7 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that assessed the clinical efficacy and safety of corticosteroids as an adjunctive treatment for sCAP were included.

The findings found that the group that received adjunctive corticosteroids, experienced a significantly lower mortality rate at day 30 compared to the control group. The results showed low heterogeneity (I2 = 0%, p = 0.42), indicating consistency among the trials.

Additionally, the study group exhibited a reduced risk of requiring mechanical ventilation to the control group. Patients in the study group had shorter lengths of stay in the intensive care unit and hospital compared to those in the control group.

The use of adjunctive corticosteroids did not significantly increase the risk of adverse events. The analysis found no significant difference between the study and control groups in terms of gastrointestinal tract bleeding, healthcare-associated infection, and acute kidney injury.

Wu JY, Tsai YW, Hsu WH, et al. Efficacy and safety of adjunctive corticosteroids in the treatment of severe community-acquired pneumonia: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Crit Care. 2023;27(1):274. doi: 10.1186/s13054-023-04561-z. PMID: 37422686.