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Systematic review with meta analysis
Adjunctive corticosteroids improve the need for mechanical ventilation and shorten hospital duration in patients hospitalised with community-acquired pneumonia
  1. Mirjam Christ-Crain1,
  2. Willem Jan W Bos2
  1. 1University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland;
  2. 2Department of Internal Medicine, St Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to: Professor Mirjam Christ-Crain, University of Basel, Petersplatz 1, Basel 4003, Switzerland; mirjam.christ{at}

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Respiratory tract infections and pneumonia in particular are the third leading cause of death worldwide. The prognosis of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) dramatically improved with the availability of antibiotics; however, it still carries a high risk for long-term morbidity and mortality, which has not changed over the past few decades. Systemic corticosteroids have anti-inflammatory effects that attenuate the inflammatory process in CAP which can potentially be harmful. Adjunct treatment with corticosteroids has been discussed since the 1950s and many studies were conducted to investigate the efficacy of corticosteroids in CAP. However, so far, no adjunct therapy is recommended.1


This systematic review and meta-analysis built on a previous Cochrane Review,2 updating the literature search (MEDLINE, …

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  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it was published Online First. In the title “improve the need for mechanical and shorten hospital duration” should read “improve the need for mechanical ventilation and shorten hospital duration”.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.