SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

 
vol.111 issue4What did we learn from South Africa's first-ever tuberculosis prevalence survey?Considerations for COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand

Article

Indicators

Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google

Share


SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574

Abstract

DU PLESSIS, E M et al. Corticosteroids in critical COVID-19: Are all corticosteroids equal?. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2021, vol.111, n.4. ISSN 2078-5135.  http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/samj.2021.v111i6.15582.

BACKGROUND: The hyperinflammation seen as part of a dysregulated immune response to SARS-CoV-2 in its most severe form leads to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), multiorgan failure and death. Corticosteroid therapy targets this hyperinflammation, otherwise known as a cytokine storm. It is the only therapeutic agent to date with a mortality benefit, with clear guidelines from national and international health authorities guiding its use.OBJECTIVES: To compare severity-of-illness indices, survival, length of intensive care unit (ICU) stay and potential ICU complications in patients treated with different corticosteroid regimens (high-dose hydrocortisone, high-dose methylprednisolone and lower-dose dexamethasone).METHODS: In this single-centre descriptive retrospective observational study of a cohort of patients with severe COVID-19 admitted to a COVID-dedicated ICU, we compared patients treated with the three different corticosteroid regimens.RESULTS: In 242 cases we could not demonstrate any statistically or clinically significant difference in the outcome of patients with critical COVID-19 treated with high-dose intravenous hydrocortisone (n=88) or methylprednisolone (n=46) compared with a relatively lower dose of dexamethasone (n=108). The survival rates were 38.6%, 39.1% and 33.3%, respectively (p=0.68). Patients treated with methylprednisolone tended to have a shorter length of ICU stay (median (interquartile range) 6 (4 - 10), 4 (2 - 8) and 5 (2 - 8) days; p=0.015) and fewer episodes of nosocomial sepsis (47.7%, 32.6% and 48.1%; p=0.01).CONCLUSIONS: Hydrocortisone or methylprednisolone can be given as an alternative to dexamethasone in the management of critical COVID-19, and this is a feasible alternative, especially in resource-constrained settings.

        · text in English     · English ( pdf )

 

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License