Methylprednisolone Use Cuts Treatment Failure in Pneumonia

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Methylprednisolone Use Cuts Treatment Failure in Pneumonia
Methylprednisolone Use Cuts Treatment Failure in Pneumonia

TUESDAY, Feb. 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with severe community-acquired pneumonia and high initial inflammatory response, methylprednisolone use is associated with decreased treatment failure, according to a study published in the Feb. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Antoni Torres, M.D., Ph.D., from Hospital Clínic in Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues conducted a double-blind placebo-controlled trial in three Spanish teaching hospitals involving patients with both severe community-acquired pneumonia and a high inflammatory response. Patients were randomized to receive an intravenous bolus of 0.5 mg/kg per 12 hours of methylprednisolone or placebo (61 and 59 patients, respectively) for five days, initiated within 36 hours of admission to the hospital.

The researchers found that among patients from the methylprednisolone group there was less treatment failure compared with the placebo group (13 versus 31 percent; P = 0.02). The risk of treatment failure was reduced with corticosteroid treatment (odds ratio, 0.34). There was no between-group difference in in-hospital mortality (P = 0.37). Hyperglycemia occurred in 18 and 12 percent of patients in the methylprednisolone and placebo groups, respectively (P = 0.34).

"If replicated, these findings would support the use of corticosteroids as adjunctive treatment in this clinical population," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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