What is the role of corticosteroids in the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)?

Updated: Mar 27, 2020
  • Author: Eloise M Harman, MD; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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No drug has proved beneficial in the prevention or management of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Early administration of corticosteroids to septic patients does not prevent the development of ARDS. A study by Martin-Loeches et al concluded that the early use of corticosteroids was also ineffective in patients with the pandemic H1N1 influenza A infection, resulting in an increased risk of superinfections. [24] This finding was also echoed in a study by Brun-Buisson et al, who found no evidence of benefit associated with corticosteroids in patients with ARDS secondary to influenza pneumonia but did find that early corticosteroid therapy may be harmful. [25]

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