Systemic administration of glucocorticoids, cardiovascular complications and mortality in patients hospitalised with COVID-19, SARS, MERS or influenza: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised trials

Caiazzo, E., Rezig, A. O.M. , Bruzzese, D., Ialenti, A., Cicala, C., Cleland, J. G.F. , Guzik, T. J., Maffia, P. and Pellicori, P. (2022) Systemic administration of glucocorticoids, cardiovascular complications and mortality in patients hospitalised with COVID-19, SARS, MERS or influenza: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised trials. Pharmacological Research, 176, 106053. (doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2021.106053) (PMID:34979235) (PMCID:PMC8719379)

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Abstract

Background: Administration of glucocorticoids might reduce mortality in patients with severe COVID-19 but have adverse cardiometabolic effects. Objectives: to investigate the effect of systemic administration of glucocorticoids on cardiovascular complications and all-cause mortality in patients hospitalised with respiratory viral infections, including COVID-19, SARS, MERS and influenza. Methods: We identified randomised trials published prior to July 28th, 2021. The Mantel-Haenszel random effects method and the Hartung and Knapp adjustment were used to obtain pooled estimates of treatment effect with 95% confidence intervals. Results: No randomised trials of glucocorticoids for SARS, MERS or influenza reported relevant outcomes. We included eleven COVID-19 randomised trials (8,109 patients).Overall, compared to placebo or standard care, glucocorticoids were not associated with a reduction of in-hospital mortality (p=0.09). In a pre-specified sub-analysis, in-hospital mortality was reduced by 19% when follow-up was restricted to 14 days from randomisation (5/11 trials, 1,329 patients, p=0.02). With longer follow-up (9/11 trials, 7,874 patients), administration of glucocorticoids was associated with a trend to benefit for those requiring mechanical ventilation (RR 0.86; 95% CI 0.57-1.27) but possible harm for those not receiving oxygen at randomisation (RR 1.27; 95% CI 1.00 – 1.61), an effect that was significantly different amongst subgroups (p = 0.0359). Glucocorticoids reduced the risk of worsening renal function by 37% (4/11 trials); reported rate of other cardiovascular complications was low. Conclusions: Administration of systemic glucocorticoids to patients hospitalised with COVID-19 does not lower mortality overall but may reduce it in those requiring respiratory support and increase it in those who do not.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:COVID-19, glucocorticoids, steroids, dexamethasone, mortality, meta-analysis.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Guzik, Professor Tomasz and Rezig, Asma Oumkaltoum and Maffia, Professor Pasquale and CAIAZZO, Miss ELISABETTA and Cleland, Professor John and Pellicori, Dr Pierpaolo
Authors: Caiazzo, E., Rezig, A. O.M., Bruzzese, D., Ialenti, A., Cicala, C., Cleland, J. G.F., Guzik, T. J., Maffia, P., and Pellicori, P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Robertson Centre
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Pharmacological Research
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1043-6618
ISSN (Online):1096-1186
Published Online:31 December 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Pharmacological Research 176: 106053
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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