Effect of prolonged methylprednisolone therapy in unresolving acute respiratory distress syndrome

A randomized controlled trial

Gianfranco Meduri, A. Stacey Headley, Emmel Golden, Stephanie J. Carson, Reba Umberger, Tiffany Kelso, Elizabeth Tolley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Context. - No pharmacological therapeutic protocol has been found effective in modifying the clinical course of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and mortality remains greater than 50%. Objective. - To determine the effects of prolonged methylprednisolone therapy on lung function and mortality in patients with unresolving ARDS. Design. - Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Setting. - Medical intensive care units of 4 medical centers. Participants. - Twenty-four patients with severe ARDS who had failed to improve lung injury score (LIS) by the seventh day of respiratory failure. Interventions. - Sixteen patients received methylprednisolone and 8 received placebo. Methylprednisolone dose was initially 2 mg/kg per day and the duration of treatment was 32 days. Four patients whose LIS failed to improve by at least 1 point after 10 days of treatment were blindly crossed over to the alternative treatment. Main Outcome Measures. - Primary outcome measures were improvement in lung function and mortality. Secondary outcome measures were improvement in multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) and development of nosocomial infections. Results. - Physiological characteristics at the onset of ARDS were similar in both groups. At study entry (day 9 [SD, 3] of ARDS), the 2 groups had similar LIS, ratios of PaO2 to fraction of inspired oxygen (FIO2), and MODS scores. Changes observed by study day 10 for methylprednisolone vs placebo were as follows: reduced LIS (mean [SEM], 1.7 [0.1] vs 3.0 [0.2]; P<.001); improved ratio of PaO2 to FIO2 (mean [SEM], 262 [19] vs 148 [35]; P<.001); decreased MODS score (mean [SEM], 0.7 [0.2] vs 1.8 [0.3]; P<.001); and successful extubation (7 vs 0; P = .05). For the treatment group vs the placebo group, mortality associated with the intensive care unit was 0 (0%) of 16 vs 5 (62%) of 8 (P = .002) and hospital-associated mortality was 2 (12%) of 16 vs 5 (62%) of 8 (P = .03). The rate of infections per day of treatment was similar in both groups, and pneumonia was frequently detected in the absence of fever. Conclusions. - In this study, prolonged administration of methylprednisolone in patients with unresolving ARDS was associated with improvement in lung injury and MODS scores and reduced mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-165
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Medical Association
Volume280
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 8 1998

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Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Methylprednisolone
Randomized Controlled Trials
Lung Injury
Multiple Organ Failure
Organ Dysfunction Scores
Placebos
Mortality
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Therapeutics
Intensive Care Units
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
Lung
Cross Infection
Hospital Mortality
Respiratory Insufficiency
Pneumonia
Fever
Pharmacology
Oxygen

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Effect of prolonged methylprednisolone therapy in unresolving acute respiratory distress syndrome : A randomized controlled trial. / Meduri, Gianfranco; Headley, A. Stacey; Golden, Emmel; Carson, Stephanie J.; Umberger, Reba; Kelso, Tiffany; Tolley, Elizabeth.

In: Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 280, No. 2, 08.07.1998, p. 159-165.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Umberger, Reba

AU - Kelso, Tiffany

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N2 - Context. - No pharmacological therapeutic protocol has been found effective in modifying the clinical course of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and mortality remains greater than 50%. Objective. - To determine the effects of prolonged methylprednisolone therapy on lung function and mortality in patients with unresolving ARDS. Design. - Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Setting. - Medical intensive care units of 4 medical centers. Participants. - Twenty-four patients with severe ARDS who had failed to improve lung injury score (LIS) by the seventh day of respiratory failure. Interventions. - Sixteen patients received methylprednisolone and 8 received placebo. Methylprednisolone dose was initially 2 mg/kg per day and the duration of treatment was 32 days. Four patients whose LIS failed to improve by at least 1 point after 10 days of treatment were blindly crossed over to the alternative treatment. Main Outcome Measures. - Primary outcome measures were improvement in lung function and mortality. Secondary outcome measures were improvement in multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) and development of nosocomial infections. Results. - Physiological characteristics at the onset of ARDS were similar in both groups. At study entry (day 9 [SD, 3] of ARDS), the 2 groups had similar LIS, ratios of PaO2 to fraction of inspired oxygen (FIO2), and MODS scores. Changes observed by study day 10 for methylprednisolone vs placebo were as follows: reduced LIS (mean [SEM], 1.7 [0.1] vs 3.0 [0.2]; P<.001); improved ratio of PaO2 to FIO2 (mean [SEM], 262 [19] vs 148 [35]; P<.001); decreased MODS score (mean [SEM], 0.7 [0.2] vs 1.8 [0.3]; P<.001); and successful extubation (7 vs 0; P = .05). For the treatment group vs the placebo group, mortality associated with the intensive care unit was 0 (0%) of 16 vs 5 (62%) of 8 (P = .002) and hospital-associated mortality was 2 (12%) of 16 vs 5 (62%) of 8 (P = .03). The rate of infections per day of treatment was similar in both groups, and pneumonia was frequently detected in the absence of fever. Conclusions. - In this study, prolonged administration of methylprednisolone in patients with unresolving ARDS was associated with improvement in lung injury and MODS scores and reduced mortality.

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