Gepost in: Infecties

Corticosteroids in sepsis (2018)

Purpose: To assess the effect of low dose corticosteroids on outcomes in adults with septic shock.

Methods: We systematically reviewed randomised clinical trials (RCTs) comparing low-dose corticosteroids to placebo in adults with septic shock. Trial selection, data abstraction and risk of bias assessment were performed in duplicate. The primary outcome was short-term mortality. Secondary and tertiary outcomes included longer-term mortality, adverse events, quality of life, and duration of shock, mechanical ventilation and ICU stay.

Results: There were 22 RCTs, including 7297 participants, providing data on short-term mortality. In two low risk of bias trials, the relative risk (RR) of short-term mortality with corticosteroid versus placebo was 0.98 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.89-1.08, p = 0.71]. Sensitivity analysis including all trials was similar (RR 0.96; 95% CI 0.91-1.02, p = 0.21) as was analysis of longer-term mortality (RR 0.96; 95% CI 0.90-1.02, p = 0.18). In low risk of bias trials, the risk of experiencing any adverse event was higher with corticosteroids; however, there was substantial heterogeneity (RR 1.66; 95% CI 1.03-2.70, p = 0.04, I2 = 78%). No trials reported quality of life outcomes. Duration of shock [mean difference (MD) -1.52 days; 95% CI -1.71 to -1.32, p < 0.0001], duration of mechanical ventilation (MD -1.38 days; 95% CI -1.96 to -0.80, p < 0.0001), and ICU stay (MD -0.75 days; 95% CI -1.34 to -0.17, p = 0.01) were shorter with corticosteroids versus placebo.

Conclusions: In adults with septic shock treated with low dose corticosteroids, short- and longer-term mortality are unaffected, adverse events increase, but duration of shock, mechanical ventilation and ICU stay are reduced. PROSPERO registration no. CRD42017084037.




Sofie Louise Rygård, Ethan Butler, Anders Granholm, Morten Hylander Møller, Jeremy Cohen, Simon Finfer, Anders Perner, John Myburgh, Balasubramanian Venkatesh, Anthony Delaney


PMID: 29761216 DOI: 10.1007/s00134-018-5197-6