Corticosteroids were both beneficial and cost-effective for hospitalized adults with severe CAP. Hospitalized people with non-severe CAP may also benefit from corticosteroid therapy, but with no survival advantage
In 2015, results of two randomized trials showed that systemic corticosteroids were beneficial for some hospitalized patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP; NEJM JW Gen Med Mar 15 2015 and JAMA 2015; 313:677; NEJM JW Gen Med Mar 1 2015 and Lancet 2015; 385:1511). Now, two new meta-analyses — one by the Cochrane Library, and one by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) — address whether CAP patients should receive systemic corticosteroids routinely.
These meta-analyses suggest that low-dose (≈40 mg), short-course (3–7 days) systemic corticosteroids should be strongly considered for hospitalized adults with severe CAP. These results do not apply to outpatients with CAP or to inpatients with hospital-acquired pneumonia or ventilator-associated pneumonia. Several ongoing randomized trials probably will clarify steroid use further for pneumonia indications.
The Cost-effectiveness of Corticosteroids for the treatment of Community-Acquired Pneumonia
Chest. 2018 Nov 15. pii: S0012-3692(18)32727-2. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2018.11.001.