Short-Term Dexamethasone in Sars-CoV-2 Patients.
R I Med J (2013). 2020 Jun 19;103(6):39-43
Authors: Selvaraj V, Dapaah-Afriyie K, Finn A, Flanigan TP
BACKGROUND: Dexamethasone, a synthetic glucocorticoid, has anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties. There is a hyperinflammatory response involved in the clinical course of patients with pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2. To date, there has been no definite therapy for COVID-19. We reviewed the charts of SARS-CoV-2 patients with pneumonia and moderate to severely elevated CRP and worsening hypoxemia who were treated with early, short-term dexamethasone.
METHODS: We describe a series of 21 patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and were admitted to The Miriam Hospital in Providence, RI, and were treated with a short course of dexamethasone, either alone or in addition to current investigative therapies.
RESULTS: CRP levels decreased significantly following the start of dexamethasone from mean initial levels of 129.52 to 40.73 mg/L at time of discharge. 71% percent of the patients were discharged home with a mean length of stay of 7.8 days. None of the patients had escalation of care, leading to mechanical ventilation. Two patients were transferred to inpatient hospice facilities on account of persistent hypoxemia, in line with their documented goals of care.
CONCLUSIONS: A short course of systemic corticosteroids among inpatients with SARS-CoV-2 with hypoxic respiratory failure was well tolerated, and most patients had improved outcomes. This limited case series may not offer concrete evidence towards the benefit of corticosteroids in COVID-19. However, patients' positive response to short-term corticosteroids demonstrates that they may help blunt the severity of inflammation and prevent a severe hyperinflammatory phase, in turn reducing the length of stay, ICU admissions, and healthcare costs.
PMID: 32570995 [PubMed - in process]