Effects of different doses of methylprednisolone on clinical outcomes in patients with severe community-acquired pneumonia: a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

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Trials. 2022 May 21;23(1):423. doi: 10.1186/s13063-022-06404-8.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The specific use of methylprednisolone in severe community-acquired pneumonia (SCAP) has not yet formed a consensus. It is not clear whether the clinical efficacy of methylprednisolone in SCAP is dose-dependent, and how to balance the best efficacy with the least complications. The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of different doses of methylprednisolone in the adjuvant treatment for patients with SCAP.

METHODS/DESIGN: This is a prospective, randomized, double-blind, parallel group, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of different doses of methylprednisolone in the adjuvant treatment for patients with SCAP. Patients with diagnosed SCAP are randomized to the following four groups at a 1:1:1:1 ratio: group 1 (control group)-standard ICU patient care+100ml of normal saline once a day for 5 days; group 2-standard ICU patient care+40mg of methylprednisolone (dissolved in normal saline with a final volume of 100ml) once a day for 5 days; group 3-standard ICU patient care+80mg of methylprednisolone (dissolved in normal saline with a final volume of 100ml) once a day for 5 days; and group 4-standard ICU patient care+120mg of methylprednisolone (dissolved in normal saline with a final volume of 100ml) once a day for 5 days. The primary outcome is PaO2/FiO2 ratio at day 5 following randomization. The secondary outcomes are 28-day mortality, ventilator-free days at 28 days, mechanical ventilation duration at 28 days, endotracheal intubation rate, time for temperature recovery, duration of vasopressors use, serum CRP and interleukin-6 level at day 5 following randomization, hospital stay, frequency of nosocomial infections, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, and hyperglycemia.

DISCUSSION: The results of our study may find the optimal dose of glucocorticoid in the adjuvant treatment of SCAP and provide evidence-based proof for clinicians to treat patients with SCAP. Since coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) also belongs to community-acquired pneumonia, perhaps the results of our study will help to determine the appropriate dose of methylprednisolone in COVID-19 treatment.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Chinese Clinical Trial Registry ChiCTR2100045056 . Registered on 4 April 2021.

PMID:35598005 | DOI:10.1186/s13063-022-06404-8