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Low-dose steroid therapy at an early phase of postoperative acute respiratory distress syndrome



Low-dose steroid therapy at an early phase of postoperative acute respiratory distress syndrome



Annals of Thoracic Surgery 79(2): 405-410



The acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) that develops after thoracic surgery is usually lethal. The use of corticosteroids to treat ARDS has been the subject of great controversy. Therefore we compared conventional therapy with early low-dose steroid therapy in the treatment of postoperative ARDS. Methylprednisolone was given daily as an intravenous push every 6 hours and was changed to a single oral dose or discontinued, with a loading dose of 2 mg/kg followed by 2 mg/kg per day. Over 2.5 years, 523 major thoracic operations were performed with postoperative ARDS developing in 20 patients (3.8%), of which 8 were treated with conventional therapy and 12 with early low-dose steroid therapy. Early low-dose steroid therapy significantly reduced postoperative mortality, with 7 patients (58.3%) recovering without mechanical ventilation. We believe this is the first clinical study of low-dose methylprednisolone at an early phase of postoperative ARDS. The beneficial effects of the use of early low-dose steroids in ARDS are consistent with the hypothesis that fibroproliferation is an early response to lung injury, which is inhibited by early low-dose steroid therapy without disturbing operative wound healing.

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Accession: 049497764

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 15680804

DOI: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2004.07.079


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