What is the role of systemic corticosteroids in the treatment of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP)?

Updated: Oct 31, 2019
  • Author: Stephanie L Baer, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

The use of systemic corticosteroids in patients with CAP is not supported routinely but may be useful for managing certain comorbidities or as part of the sepsis bundle. Studies have shown that corticosteroids may reduce the length of time until clinical stability, decrease hospital length of stay, lessen the need for mechanical ventilation, and lower the incidence of adult respiratory distress syndrome. [81, 82] These potential benefits should be weighed against the risk of worsening influenza pneumonia or causing hyperglycemia. [5] Furthermore, there is insufficient data or agreement on the dose or duration of the steroid therapy.


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