Clinical evidence does not support corticosteroid treatment for 2019-nCoV lung injury(2020/02/07)

The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak is a major challenge for clinicians. The clinical course of patients remains to be fully characterised, little data are available that describe the disease pathogenesis, and no pharmacological therapies of proven efficacy yet exist.

Corticosteroids were widely used during the outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV

 and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV,

 and are being used in patients with 2019-nCoV in addition to other therapeutics.

 However, current interim guidance from WHO on clinical management of severe acute respiratory infection when novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection is suspected (released Jan 28, 2020) advises against the use of corticosteroids unless indicated for another reason.

 Understanding the evidence for harm or benefit from corticosteroids in 2019-nCoV is of immediate clinical importance. Here we discuss the clinical outcomes of corticosteroid use in coronavirus and similar outbreaks (table).


Author: Clark D Russell, Jonathan E Millar, J Kenneth Baillie