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      Effectiveness of Steroid Therapy on Pneumonic Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Exacerbation: A Multicenter, Retrospective Cohort Study

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          To date, no consensus exists on the effects of systemic steroid use on pneumonic chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbation owing to trial design issues in previous trials involving these conditions. This multicenter study aimed to evaluate more precisely the effectiveness of the use of systemic steroids in treating pneumonic COPD exacerbation in a larger sample by adjusting for confounding factors.

          Patients and Methods

          This multicenter, retrospective, observational study was conducted across five acute general hospitals in Japan. We analyzed the association between parenteral/oral steroid therapy and time to clinical stability in pneumonic COPD exacerbation. We used a validated algorithm derived from the 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10) to include patients with pneumonic COPD exacerbation. We excluded patients with other hypoxia causes (asthma exacerbation, pneumothorax, heart failure) and complicated pneumonia (obstructive pneumonia, empyema), those who required tracheal intubation/vasopressors, and those who were clinically stable on day of admission. The primary outcome was the time to clinical stability. Multiple imputation was used for missing data. Propensity scores within each imputed dataset were calculated using potential confounding factors. The Fine and Gray model was used within each dataset to account for the competing risk of death and hospital discharge without clinical stability, and we combined the results.


          Altogether, 1237 patients were included. Systemic steroid therapy was administered to 658 patients (53%). The pooled estimated subdistribution hazard ratio of time to clinical stability in steroid vs non-steroid users was 0.89 (95% confidence interval, 0.78 to 1.0).


          This study revealed that systemic steroid therapy may not improve the time to clinical stability in patients with pneumonic COPD exacerbation of mild to moderate severity. Further randomized controlled trials including more severe patients will be needed to evaluate the effectiveness of systemic steroid therapy accurately.

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          Most cited references 18

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          Severity assessment tools for predicting mortality in hospitalised patients with community-acquired pneumonia. Systematic review and meta-analysis.

          International guidelines recommend a severity-based approach to management in community-acquired pneumonia. CURB65, CRB65 and the Pneumonia Severity Index (PSI) are the most widely recommended severity scores. The aim of this study was to compare the performance characteristics of these scores for predicting mortality in community-acquired pneumonia. A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted according to MOOSE (meta-analysis of observational studies in epidemiology) guidelines. PUBMED and EMBASE were searched (1980-2009). 40 studies reporting prognostic information for the PSI, CURB65 and CRB65 severity scores were identified. Performance characteristics were pooled using a random effects model. Relationships between sensitivity and specificity were plotted using summary receiver operator characteristic (sROC) curves. All three scores predicted 30 day mortality. The PSI had the highest area under the sROC curve, 0.81 (SE 0.008), compared with CURB65, 0.80 (SE 0.008), p=0.1, and CRB65, 0.79 (0.01), p=0.09. These differences were not statistically significant. Performance characteristics were similar across comparable cut-offs for low, intermediate and high risk for each score. In identifying low risk patients, PSI (groups I and II) had the best negative likelihood ratio 0.08 (0.06-0.12) compared with CURB65 (score 0-1) 0.21 (0.15-0.30) and CRB65 (score 0), 0.15 (0.10-0.22). There were no significant differences in overall test performance between PSI, CURB65 and CRB65 for predicting mortality from community-acquired pneumonia.
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            Risk factors for drug-resistant pathogens in community-acquired and healthcare-associated pneumonia.

            Identification of patients with drug-resistant pathogens at initial diagnosis is essential for treatment of pneumonia. To elucidate clinical features of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and healthcare-associated pneumonia (HCAP), and to clarify risk factors for drug-resistant pathogens in patients with CAP and HCAP. A prospective observational study was conducted in hospitalized patients with pneumonia at 10 institutions in Japan. Pathogens identified as not susceptible to ceftriaxone, ampicillin-sulbactam, macrolides, and respiratory fluoroquinolones were defined as CAP drug-resistant pathogens (CAP-DRPs). In total, 1,413 patients (887 CAP and 526 HCAP) were analyzed. CAP-DRPs were more frequently found in patients with HCAP (26.6%) than in patients with CAP (8.6%). Independent risk factors for CAP-DRPs were almost identical in patients with CAP and HCAP. These included prior hospitalization (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 2.06; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.23-3.43), immunosuppression (AOR, 2.31; 95% CI, 1.05-5.11), previous antibiotic use (AOR, 2.45; 95% CI, 1.51-3.98), use of gastric acid-suppressive agents (AOR, 2.22; 95% CI, 1.39-3.57), tube feeding (AOR, 2.43; 95% CI, 1.18-5.00), and nonambulatory status (AOR, 2.45; 95% CI, 1.40-4.30) in the combined patients with CAP and HCAP. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for counting the number of risk factors was 0.79 (95% CI, 0.74-0.84). The clinical profile of HCAP was different from that of CAP. However, physicians can predict drug resistance in patients with either CAP or HCAP by taking account of the cumulative number of the risk factors. Clinical trial registered with ; number UMIN000003306.
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              Inhaled corticosteroids for stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

              The role of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has been the subject of much controversy. Major international guidelines recommend selective use of ICS. Recently published meta-analyses have reported conflicting findings on the effects of inhaled steroid therapy in COPD. To determine the efficacy and safety of inhaled corticosteroids in stable patients with COPD, in terms of objective and subjective outcomes. A pre-defined search strategy was used to search the Cochrane Airways Group Specialised Register for relevant literature. Searches are current as of July 2011. We included randomised trials comparing any dose of any type of inhaled steroid with a placebo control in patients with COPD. Acute bronchodilator reversibility to short-term beta(2)-agonists and bronchial hyper-responsiveness were not exclusion criteria. The a priori primary outcome was change in lung function. We also analysed data on mortality, exacerbations, quality of life and symptoms, rescue bronchodilator use, exercise capacity, biomarkers and safety. Two review authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. We contacted study authors for additional information. We collected adverse effects information from the trials. Fifty-five primary studies with 16,154 participants met the inclusion criteria. Long-term use of ICS (more than six months) did not consistently reduce the rate of decline in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV(1)) in COPD patients (generic inverse variance analysis: mean difference (MD) 5.80 mL/year with ICS over placebo, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.28 to 11.88, 2333 participants; pooled means analysis: 6.88 mL/year, 95% CI 1.80 to 11.96, 4823 participants), although one major trial demonstrated a statistically significant difference. There was no statistically significant effect on mortality in COPD patients (odds ratio (OR) 0.98, 95% CI 0.83 to 1.16, 8390 participants). Long-term use of ICS reduced the mean rate of exacerbations in those studies where pooling of data was possible (generic inverse variance analysis: MD -0.26 exacerbations per patient per year, 95% CI -0.37 to -0.14, 2586 participants; pooled means analysis: MD -0.19 exacerbations per patient per year, 95% CI -0.30 to -0.08, 2253 participants). ICS slowed the rate of decline in quality of life, as measured by the St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (MD -1.22 units/year, 95% CI -1.83 to -0.60, 2507 participants). Response to ICS was not predicted by oral steroid response, bronchodilator reversibility or bronchial hyper-responsiveness in COPD patients. There was an increased risk of oropharyngeal candidiasis (OR 2.65, 95% CI 2.03 to 3.46, 5586 participants) and hoarseness. In the long-term studies, the rate of pneumonia was increased in the ICS group compared to placebo, in studies that reported pneumonia as an adverse event (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.30 to 1.86, 6235 participants). The long-term studies that measured bone effects generally showed no major effect on fractures and bone mineral density over three years. Patients and clinicians should balance the potential benefits of inhaled steroids in COPD (reduced rate of exacerbations, reduced rate of decline in quality of life and possibly reduced rate of decline in FEV(1)) against the potential side effects (oropharyngeal candidiasis and hoarseness, and risk of pneumonia).

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                19 October 2020
                : 15
                : 2539-2547
                [1 ]Department of Respiratory Medicine, Ichinomiyanishi Hospital , Ichinomiya, Japan
                [2 ]Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health , Baltimore, MD, USA
                [3 ]Post Graduate Education Center, Kameda Medical Center , Kamogawa, Japan
                [4 ]Department of Pulmonology, Kameda Medical Center , Kamogawa, Japan
                [5 ]General Medicine, Awa Regional Medical Center , Tateyama, Japan
                [6 ]Department of Thoracic Medicine, Saiseikai Yokohamashi Tobu Hospital , Yokohama, Japan
                [7 ]Department of Respiratory Medicine, Hyogo Prefectural Amagasaki General Medical Center , Amagasaki, Japan
                [8 ]Hospital Care Research Unit, Hyogo Prefectural Amagasaki General Medical Center , Amagasaki, Japan
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Akihiro Shiroshita Department of Respiratory Medicine, Ichinomiyanishi Hospital , 1 Kaimeihira, Ichinomiya, Aichi494-0001, JapanTel +81-80-3807-4960Fax +586-48-0077 Email
                © 2020 Shiroshita et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 6, References: 20, Pages: 9
                Funded by: no specific funding;
                The current research received no specific funding.
                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                copd, pneumonia, steroid, outcomes, mortality


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