For decades, researchers have tested glucocorticoids such as hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, and dexamethasone, in varying doses, for the related conditions of pneumonia, sepsis, septic shock, and acute respiratory distress syndrome.1-4 The overarching rationale has been that glucocorticoids could mitigate exaggerated and potentially deleterious aspects of the host’s inflammatory response. Corticosteroids have typically been prescribed to target the acute phase of these conditions, although they have also been used later to improve resolution of inflammation and organ dysfunction in instances such as nonresolving acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Yende S, Thompson BT. Evaluating Glucocorticoids for Sepsis: Time to Change Course. JAMA. 2016;316(17):1769–1771. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.13904
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