BACKGROUND: High-dose steroid has been shown to reduce the mortality rate in Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients who need oxygen support . Here, we evaluated the effectiveness of pulse-steroid in case of unresponsiveness to treatment with high dose steroid . MATERIAL AND
METHODS: The study is a retrospective controlled trial . We divided the patients in three groups: Standard-care therapy alone, high-dose steroid treatment and pulse-steroid treatment (250 mg/day methy-prednisolone). One hundred fifty patients were enrolled in each group . All patients were hospitalized and needed oxygen support . We matched the patients according to disease severity at the onset of hypoxia, weight of co-morbidities, age and gender . We then compared three groups in terms of mortality, length of hospitalization, need for intensive care unit (ICU) admission and mechanical ventilation (MV), length of stay in ICU and duration of MV .
RESULTS: The pulse-steroid group had shorter ICU stay . The median ICU stay was 9.0 (CI 95% 6.0-12.0) days in standard? care group , 8.0 (CI 95% 5.0-13.0) days in high-dose steroid group and 4.5 (CI% 95 3.0-8.0) days in pulse-steroid group . Moreover, although they were initially unresponsive to steroid therapy, they achieved similar results compared to the high-dose steroid group in other outcomes except for length of hospital stay .
CONCLUSIONS: Pulse-steroid treatment would be an option for COVID-19 patients who do not respond to the initial high-dose steroid treatment.