J Intensive Care Med. 2021 Nov 10:8850666211053548. doi: 10.1177/08850666211053548. Online ahead of print.
Background: Severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can boost the systematic inflammatory response in critically ill patients, causing a systemic hyperinflammatory state leading to multiple complications. In COVID-19 patients, the use of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) is surrounded by controversy regarding their impacts on viral infections. This study aims to evaluate the safety and efficacy of ICS in critically ill patients with COVID-19 and its clinical outcomes. Method: A multicenter, noninterventional, cohort study for critically ill patients with COVID-19 who received ICS. All patients aged ≥ 18 years old with confirmed COVID-19 and admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) between March 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 were screened. Eligible patients were classified into two groups based on the use of ICS ± long-acting beta-agonists (LABA) during ICU stay. Propensity score (PS)-matched was used based on patient's Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) score, Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score, systemic corticosteroids use, and acute kidney injury (AKI) within 24 h of ICU admission. We considered a P-value of < 0.05 statistically significant. Results: A total of 954 patients were eligible; 130 patients were included after PS matching (1:1 ratio). The 30-day mortality (hazard ratio [HR] [95% confidence interval [CI]]: 0.53 [0.31, 0.93], P-value = 0.03) was statistically significant lower in patients who received ICS. Conversely, the in-hospital mortality, ventilator-free days (VFDs), ICU length of stay (LOS), and hospital LOS were not statistically significant between the two groups. Conclusion: The use of ICS ± LABA in COVID-19 patients may have survival benefits at 30 days. However, it was not associated with in-hospital mortality benefits nor VFDs.