Corticosteroid therapy for patients with severe novel Coronavirus disease 2019.Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2020 08; 24(15):8194-8201.ER
To investigate the effect of corticosteroid on hospital mortality, hospital length of stay, and time of viral clearance in patients with severe and critical COVID-19.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
Patients with severe and critical COVID-19 who had been discharged or expired were enrolled in this study. Patients were divided into corticosteroid group and non-corticosteroid group according to the systemic corticosteroid use or not. Clinical data were collected, and hospital mortality, hospital length of stay, time of viral clearance, time of mechanical ventilation, and duration from illness onset to symptom resolution were compared between the two groups.
A total of 72 inpatients who were diagnosed with severe and critical COVID-19 were enrolled, in which 47 patients were divided into corticosteroid group and 25 were involved as the non-corticosteroid group. Baseline characteristics were generally similar between the two groups. Four (5.6%) patients died during hospitalization, and 68 (94.4%) were discharged. Among survivors, the mean duration time from admission to discharge was 19.5d (SD 7.05 d). The mean time of viral clearance among survivors was 17.5d (SD 7.67 d), with a maximum of 37 d, and a minimum of 5 d. Hospital mortality (4.3% vs. 8.0%), length of hospital stay (18.7d vs. 21.0d), and time of viral clearance (16.1d vs. 19.4d) had no significant difference between two groups (p>0.05). The duration of symptoms suffering was shorter in the corticosteroid group than non-corticosteroid group, with statistically significant difference (p<0.05).
Corticosteroid therapy in patients with severe COVID-19 cannot reduce the hospital mortality, and is not associated with delayed viral clearance, but it could relieve the inflammatory storm and improve clinical symptoms in brief. Patients with severe COVID-19 could benefit from low-dose corticosteroid treatment.