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Low-dose hydrocortisone therapy attenuates septic shock in adult patients but does not reduce 28-day mortality: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials



Low-dose hydrocortisone therapy attenuates septic shock in adult patients but does not reduce 28-day mortality: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials



Anesthesia and Analgesia 118(2): 346-357



The role of low-dose hydrocortisone in attenuating septic shock and reducing short-term mortality in adult patients with septic shock is unclear. We conducted a meta-analysis of previous studies to determine whether hydrocortisone could ameliorate the effects of septic shock at 7 and 28 days and reduce 28-day morality. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of corticosteroids versus placebo (or supportive treatment alone) were retrieved from electronic searches (Medline, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases; LILACS; and Web of Knowledge) and manual searches (up to May 2012). From a pool of 1949 potentially relevant articles, duplicate independent review identified 10 relevant, RCTs of low-dose hydrocortisone therapy in septic shock. Four pairs of reviewers agreed on the criteria for trial eligibility. One reviewer entered the data into the computer, and 3 reviewers checked the data. Missing data were obtained from the authors of the relevant trials. The primary outcome analyzed was an estimate of 28-day mortality. Eight publications were included in the meta-analysis. Low-dose hydrocortisone therapy did not reduce 28-day mortality (N = 1063; odds ratio (OR) = 0.891, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.69-1.15). Low-dose hydrocortisone therapy ameliorated shock at 7 days (6 RCTs, N = 964, OR = 2.078, 95% CI, 1.58-2.73, P < 0.0001, and I = 26.9%) and 28 days (6 RCTs, N = 947, OR = 1.495, 95% CI, 1.12-1.99, P = 0.006, and I = 0.0%). Although low-dose hydrocortisone therapy ameliorates septic shock at 7 and 28 days, it does not reduce 28-day mortality.

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Accession: 054188681

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PMID: 24445635

DOI: 10.1213/ane.0000000000000050


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