Low-dose hydrocortisone in patients with COVID-19 and severe hypoxia: The COVID STEROID randomised, placebo-controlled trial.

Munch MW, Meyhoff TS, Helleberg M, Kjaer MN, Granholm A, Hjortsø CJS, Jensen TS, Møller MH, Hjortrup PB, Wetterslev M, Vesterlund GK, Russell L, Jørgensen VL, Kristiansen KT, Benfield T, Ulrik CS, Andreasen AS, Bestle MH, Poulsen LM, Hildebrandt T, Knudsen LS, Møller A, Sølling CG, Brøchner AC, Rasmussen BS, Nielsen H, Christensen S, Strøm T, Cronhjort M, Wahlin RR, Jakob SM, Cioccari L, Venkatesh B, Hammond N, Jha V, Myatra SN, Jensen MQ, Leistner JW, Mikkelsen VS, Svenningsen JS, Laursen SB, Hatley EV, Kristensen CM, Al-Alak A, Clapp E, Jonassen TB, Bjerregaard CL, Østerby NCH, Jespersen MM, Abou-Kassem D, Lassen ML, Zaabalawi R, Daoud MM, Abdi S, Meier N, la Cour K, Derby CB, Damlund BR, Laigaard J, Andersen LL, Mikkelsen J, Jensen JLS, Rasmussen AH, Arnerlöv E, Lykke M, Holst-Hansen MZB, Tøstesen BW, Schwab J, Madsen EK, Gluud C, Lange T, Perner A

Acta Anaesthesiol Scand 65 (10) 1421-1430 [2021-11-00; online 2021-09-20]

In the early phase of the pandemic, some guidelines recommended the use of corticosteroids for critically ill patients with COVID-19, whereas others recommended against the use despite lack of firm evidence of either benefit or harm. In the COVID STEROID trial, we aimed to assess the effects of low-dose hydrocortisone on patient-centred outcomes in adults with COVID-19 and severe hypoxia. In this multicentre, parallel-group, placebo-controlled, blinded, centrally randomised, stratified clinical trial, we randomly assigned adults with confirmed COVID-19 and severe hypoxia (use of mechanical ventilation or supplementary oxygen with a flow of at least 10 L/min) to either hydrocortisone (200 mg/d) vs a matching placebo for 7 days or until hospital discharge. The primary outcome was the number of days alive without life support at day 28 after randomisation. The trial was terminated early when 30 out of 1000 participants had been enrolled because of external evidence indicating benefit from corticosteroids in severe COVID-19. At day 28, the median number of days alive without life support in the hydrocortisone vs placebo group were 7 vs 10 (adjusted mean difference: -1.1 days, 95% CI -9.5 to 7.3, P = .79); mortality was 6/16 vs 2/14; and the number of serious adverse reactions 1/16 vs 0/14. In this trial of adults with COVID-19 and severe hypoxia, we were unable to provide precise estimates of the benefits and harms of hydrocortisone as compared with placebo as only 3% of the planned sample size were enrolled. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04348305. European Union Drug Regulation Authorities Clinical Trials (EudraCT) Database: 2020-001395-15.

Category: Biochemistry

Category: Drug Discovery

Category: Health

Type: Journal article

PubMed 34138478

DOI 10.1111/aas.13941

Crossref 10.1111/aas.13941

pmc: PMC8441888
ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04348305 European Union Drug Regulation Authorities Clinical Trials (EudraCT) Database: 2020-001395-15

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