BACKGROUND: The possible benefits associated with corticosteroid treatment in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) patients are not fully known . We conducted an updated meta-analysis to assess the effect of corticosteroids in the treatment of patients with ARDS .
METHODS: We systematically searched MEDLINE, Embase, and the Cochrane Library from inception to January 2021 via Ovid to identify randomized controlled trials evaluating the efficacy of glucocorticoids in the treatment of patients with ARDS . The primary outcome was hospital mortality . Secondary outcomes included the number of ventilator-free days at day 28, oxygenation improvement (PaO 2 /FIO 2 ratios), and adverse events .
RESULTS: Nine studies with 1371 participants were analyzed . The pooled analysis revealed that glucocorticoid use was associated with reduced mortality [relative risk (RR), 0.83; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.74-0.93; P <0.01; I 2 = 37], and the statistical power was confirmed by trial sequential analysis . Glucocorticoids might also significantly increase the number of ventilator-free days at day 28 (mean deviation 3.66 days , 95% CI 2.64-4.68; P <0.01) and improve oxygenation (standardized mean difference 4.17; 95% CI 2.32-6.02; P <0.01). In addition, glucocorticoid use was not associated with increased risks of new infection (RR 0.84; 95% CI 0.70-1.01; P = 0.07) and hyperglycemia (RR 1.11; 95% CI 0.99-1.23; P = 0.06).
CONCLUSIONS: The use of glucocorticoids might result in reduced mortality in patients with ARDS. Glucocorticoids might be recommended as an adjunct to standard care for ARDS; however, the optimal dose and duration of steroid therapy remains unknown and further studies are needed.
Index: Acute respiratory distress syndrome, Glucocorticoids, Meta-analysis, Randomized clinical trial