Safety and Efficacy of Low-Dose Corticosteroids in Patients With Non-severe Coronavirus Disease 2019: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Cureus. 2021 Jan 7;13(1):e12544. doi: 10.7759/cureus.12544.


Background To date, several pharmacological agents have been employed in the treatment and management of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). While the utility of corticosteroids in severe COVID-19 infection is now widely touted, their efficacy in thwarting the progression of non-severe disease remains elusive. Methods A retrospective cohort study involving 25 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of non-severe COVID-19 infection was conducted. Subjects were assigned to either the steroid or the non-steroid group. A low-dose, short-course corticosteroid regimen was administered for seven days and the disease outcomes were recorded and compared among the two groups. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was employed to discern the data normality. Results In patients treated with low-dose, short-course steroids, the overall all-cause mortality was significantly lower compared with the non-steroid group (8.3% and 61.5%, respectively; p = 0.005). The prevalence of acute respiratory distress syndrome in the steroid group was significantly lower than that in the non-steroid group at the seven-day mark (16.7% and 84.6%, respectively; p = 0.002). Within the steroid group, the incidence of developing secondary complications was also markedly lower than that in the non-steroid group. Conclusions In patients afflicted with non-severe COVID-19, the employment of low-dose, short-course corticosteroids may confer a therapeutic advantage, significantly curtailing the mortality rate, the length of hospital stay, and the risk of developing secondary complications.

Keywords: covid-19; non-severe; steroids.