Corticosteroids for Hospitalized Community Acquired Pneumonia

Siemieniuk RA, Meade MO, Alonso-Coello P et al. Corticosteroid Therapy for Patients Hospitalized With Community-Acquired Pneumonia: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med. 2015 Oct 6;163(7):519-28. doi: 10.7326/M15-0715.

CONCLUSION: For hospitalized adults with CAP, systemic corticosteroid therapy may reduce mortality by approximately 3%, need for mechanical ventilation by approximately 5%, and hospital stay by approximately 1 day. PMID: 26258555

Comments: Several studies have shown corticosteroids have promise to improve outcome in hospitalized patients with pneumonia.  This SR found that this simple treatment may have an impact on these patients.  I plan to incorporate this into my practice.  There appears to be little down side and many benefits, including possible reduction in mortality (NNT = 36).

By James Heilman, MD (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

By James Heilman, MD (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons