Corticosteroids for prevention of postextubation laryngeal edema in adults.

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Corticosteroids for prevention of postextubation laryngeal edema in adults.

Ann Pharmacother. 2008 May;42(5):686-91

Authors: Roberts RJ, Welch SM, Devlin JW

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of prophylactic corticosteroid therapy in preventing postextubation laryngeal edema (PELE) and the need for reintubation in adults. DATA SOURCES: Literature was accessed through MEDLINE (1966-January 2008) and the Cochrane Library using the terms laryngeal edema, airway obstruction, postextubation stridor, intubation, glucocorticoids, and corticosteroids. Bibliographies of cited references were reviewed and a manual search of abstracts from recent pulmonary and critical care meetings was completed. STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION: All English-language, placebo-controlled, randomized studies evaluating the use of prophylactic corticosteroids for the prevention of postextubation laryngeal edema or postextubation stridor (PES) in adults were reviewed. DATA SYNTHESIS: Although laryngoscopy is the gold standard method for diagnosing PELE, PES is more commonly used for diagnosis in clinical practice. While 3 older studies failed to demonstrate benefit with the prophylactic administration of corticosteroid therapy in terms of reducing PELE, PES, or the need for reintubation, each of these studies evaluated only a single dose of steroid therapy that was initiated only 30-60 minutes prior to a planned extubation in a population of patients at low-risk for PELE. In comparison, 3 newer studies, each using 4 doses of corticosteroid therapy initiated 12-24 hours prior to a planned extubation in patients deemed to be at high baseline risk for developing PELE, demonstrated a reduction in PELE, PES, and the need for reintubation; no safety concerns were identified. Current evidence therefore suggests that prophylactic intravenous methylprednisolone therapy (20-40 mg every 4-6 h) should be considered 12-24 hours prior to a planned extubation in patients at high-risk for PELE (eg, mechanical ventilation > 6 days). CONCLUSIONS: Data from the most recent well-designed clinical trials suggest that prophylactic corticosteroid therapy can reduce the incidence of PELE and the subsequent need for reintubation in mechanically ventilated patients at high-risk for PELE. Based on this information, clinicians should consider initiating prophylactic corticosteroid therapy in this population. Further studies are needed to establish the optimal dosing regimens as well as the subgroups of patients at high risk for PELE who will derive the greatest benefit from this preventive steroid therapy.

PMID: 18413685 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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