Early Corticosteroids in Severe Influenza A/H1N1 Pneumonia and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.

Link to article at PubMed

Early Corticosteroids in Severe Influenza A/H1N1 Pneumonia and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2011 Mar 4;

Authors: Brun-Buisson C, Richard JC, Mercat A, Thiébaut AC, Brochard L,

Rationale - Despite their controversial role, corticosteroids are often administered to patients with the Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) secondary to viral pneumonia. We analyzed the outcome of ARDS patients receiving steroids during the recent Influenza A(H1N1) pandemic. Methods - Patients from the French registry of critically ill patients with Influenza A/H1N1v 2009 infection were selected if fulfilling criteria for ARDS, excluding patients having other indication for corticosteroids, or decompensated underlying disease as the primary cause for intensive care unit admission. Survival to hospital discharge was analyzed using Cox regression, accounting for the time to administration of steroids, and after adjustment on the propensity for receiving steroid therapy. Main results - Of 208 patients with ARDS, 83 (39.9 %) received corticosteroids (median initial dose of 270 mg equivalent hydrocortisone per day for a median of 11 days). Steroid therapy was associated with death, both in crude analysis (33.7% vs. 16.8%; hazard ratio [HR] 2.4; 95% CI, 1.3-4.3, P = .004) and after propensity score -adjusted analysis (aHR 2.82; 95% CI, 1.5 - 5.4; P= .002), controlling for an admission severity score SAPS 3 > 50, initial administration of vasopressors, and immunodepression. Early therapy (?3 days of mechanical ventilation) appeared more strongly associated with mortality than late administration. Patients receiving steroids had more acquired pneumonia, and a trend to a longer duration of ventilation. Conclusion - Our study provides no evidence of a beneficial effect of corticosteroids in patients with ARDS secondary to influenza pneumonia, but suggests that very early corticosteroid therapy may be harmful.

PMID: 21471082 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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