Eur Respir J. 2022 Feb 10:2103036. doi: 10.1183/13993003.03036-2021. Online ahead of print.
SARS-CoV-2 vaccines have been extremely effective to reduce the incidence of severe COVID19 [1–3], but effective and safe treatments of the acute infection are still limited [4, 5]. An uncontrolled pulmonary inflammatory response to SARS-CoV-2 is considered a key pathogenic mechanism of COVID19 progression , so systemic dexamethasone is recommended in severe cases [5, 7]. On the other hand, in very mild patients at home inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) may prevent disease progression [8–11]. Whether ICS prevent disease progression too in patients hospitalised because of COVID19 has not been explored before. Accordingly, we designed an investigator-initiated, open-label, randomised clinical trial (RCT) to explore the efficacy of adding inhaled budesonide to usual care to prevent disease progression in patients hospitalised because of COVID19 pneumonia. We also monitored carefully the safety of this intervention since there are concerns about the use of systemic corticosteroids in other viral (influenza) lung infections .