Corticosteroid treatment is associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality in severe COVID.pearl
- Yiqian Zeng, Weizhong Zeng, Bihui Yang, and Zhao Liu.
- Department of Critical Care Medicine, Zhuzhou Central Hospital, Zhuzhou, Hunan, China.
- Med Clin (Barc). 2022 Dec 23; 159 (12): 575583575-583.
ObjectiveCurrently, corticosteroids are widely used to treat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms. However, the therapeutic role of corticosteroids remains highly controversial. To that end, we aimed to assess the efficacy of corticosteroids in treating COVID-19 patients.MethodWe searched PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library to select suitable studies. Our primary study endpoint was all-cause mortality. The secondary study endpoint was the length of hospital stay.ResultsA total of 9 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with 7907 patients were assessed. The pooled result indicated that corticosteroids treatment could significantly reduce all-cause mortality in patients with COVID-19 (RR=0.88, 95% CI [0.82, 0.95], P=0.002). When subgroup analyses were performed, we found that corticosteroids were associated with decreased all-cause mortality in severe COVID-19 patients (RR=0.77, 95% CI [0.68, 0.88], P<0.0001), however no obvious difference was observed in all-cause mortality of non-severe COVID-19 patients between the corticosteroid and control group (RR=0.96, 95% CI [0.86, 1.06], P=0.41), meanwhile, a low dose (RR=0.89, 95% CI [0.82, 0.97], P=0.007) of dexamethasone (RR=0.9, 95% CI [0.83, 0.98], P=0.01) with a long treatment course (RR=0.89, 95% CI [0.82, 0.98], P=0.02) was beneficial for all-cause mortality in COVID-19 patients. Additionally, we found that corticosteroids might be associated with a longer length of hospital stay in non-severe COVID-19 patients (MD=3.83, 95% CI [1.11, 6.56], P=0.006).ConclusionOur results showed that corticosteroid therapy was related to a reduction in all-cause mortality in severe COVID-19 patients. However, in patients with non-severe COVID-19, the use of corticosteroids did not decrease all-cause mortality and may prolong the duration of hospital stay. In addition, we revealed that a low dose of dexamethasone with a long treatment course could reduce all-cause mortality in COVID-19 patients.Copyright © 2022 Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.
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