Swaminathan L, Kaatz S, Chubb H, Tae K, Ramesh MS, Fadel R, Big C, Jones J, Flanders SA, and Prescott HC. Impact of Early Corticosteroids on Preventing Clinical Deterioration in Non-critically Ill Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19: A Multi-hospital Cohort Study. Infect Dis Ther 2022; 11(2):887-898.
Infect Dis Ther
INTRODUCTION: While guidelines strongly recommend dexamethasone in critical COVID-19, the optimal threshold to initiate corticosteroids in non-critically ill patients with COVID-19 remains unclear. Using data from a state-wide COVID-19 registry, we evaluated the effectiveness of early corticosteroids for preventing clinical deterioration among non-critically ill patients hospitalized for COVID-19 and receiving non-invasive oxygen therapy.
METHODS: This was a target trial using observational data from patients hospitalized for COVID-19 at 39 hospitals participating in the MI-COVID19 registry between March 16, 2020 and August 24, 2020. We studied the impact of corticosteroids initiated within 2 calendar days of hospitalization ("early steroids") versus no early steroids among non-ICU patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV2 receiving non-invasive supplemental oxygen therapy. Our primary outcome was a composite of in-hospital mortality, transfer to intensive care, and receipt of invasive mechanical ventilation. We used inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) and propensity score-weighted regression to measure the association of early steroids and outcomes.
RESULTS: Among 1002 patients meeting study criteria, 231 (23.1%) received early steroids. After IPTW, to balance potential confounders between the treatment groups, early steroids were not associated with a decrease in the composite outcome (aOR 1.1, 95%CI 0.8-1.6) or in any components of the primary outcome.
CONCLUSION: We found no evidence that early corticosteroid therapy prevents clinical deterioration among hospitalized non-critically ill COVID-19 patients receiving non-invasive oxygen therapy. Further studies are needed to determine the optimal threshold for initiating corticosteroids in this population.