How effective are corticosteroids in the treatment of bacterial pneumonia?

Updated: Sep 30, 2020
  • Author: Justina Gamache, MD; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
  • Print
Answer

The role of corticosteroids in patients hospitalized for CAP was evaluated in a 2015 meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials, which found with high certainty that systemic corticosteroid steroid treatment reduced the duration of hospitalization by approximately 1 day and had a 5% absolute reduction in risk for mechanical ventilation. [64] The study also found that patients with severe pneumonia who received systemic corticosteroids had an apparent mortality benefit over patients with severe pneumonia who did not receive systemic corticosteroids, which may be related to the higher incidence of acute respiratory distress syndrome and the need for mechanical ventilation in patients with severe pneumonia. However, this evidence was rated moderate as the confidence interval crossed 1 and because of a possible subgroup effect. All patients who received corticosteroids had a higher incidence of hyperglycemia requiring treatment in this study. Thus, in immunocompetent patients hospitalized with severe CAP, systemic corticosteroids should be considered given the possible mortality benefit of systemic corticosteroid treatment in this subgroup of patients.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!