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VOLUME 25 , ISSUE 11 ( November, 2021 ) > List of Articles

Consensus Statement

Expert Consensus Statements on the Use of Corticosteroids in Non-severe COVID-19

Mradul K Daga, Apoorv Krishna, Bharat G Jagiasi, Himadri S Barthakur, Hrishikesh Jha, Raghunath Aladakatti, Rajesh M Shetty, Rohit Yadav, Sandeep Garg, Sivakumar M Nandakumar, Manish Munjal

Keywords : Corticosteroids in moderate COVID-19, Delphi study, Non-severe COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2

Citation Information : Daga MK, Krishna A, Jagiasi BG, Barthakur HS, Jha H, Aladakatti R, Shetty RM, Yadav R, Garg S, Nandakumar SM, Munjal M. Expert Consensus Statements on the Use of Corticosteroids in Non-severe COVID-19. Indian J Crit Care Med 2021; 25 (11):1280-1285.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-23923

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 16-11-2021

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2021; The Author(s).


Introduction: There is strong evidence for the use of corticosteroid in the management of severe coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). However, there is still uncertainty about the timing of corticosteroids. We undertook a modified Delphi study to develop expert consensus statements on the early identification of a subset of patients from non-severe COVID-19 who may benefit from using corticosteroids. Methods: A modified Delphi was conducted with two anonymous surveys between April 30, 2021, and May 3, 2021. An expert panel of 35 experts was selected and invited to participate through e-mail. The consensus was defined as >70% votes in multiple-choice questions (MCQ) on Likert-scale type statements, while strong consensus as >90% votes in MCQ or >50% votes for “very important” on Likert-scale questions in the final round. Results: Twenty experts completed two rounds of the survey. There was strong consensus for the increased work of breathing (95%), a positive six-minute walk test (90%), thorax computed tomography severity score of >14/25 (85%), new-onset organ dysfunction (using clinical or biochemical criteria) (80%), and C-reactive protein >5 times the upper limit of normal (70%) as the criteria for patients’ selection. The experts recommended using oral or intravenous (IV) low-dose corticosteroids (the equivalent of 6 mg/day dexamethasone) for 5–10 days and monitoring of oxygen saturation, body temperature, clinical scoring system, blood sugar, and inflammatory markers for any “red-flag” signs. Conclusion: The experts recommended against indiscriminate use of corticosteroids in mild to moderate COVID-19 without the signs of clinical worsening. Oral or IV low-dose corticosteroids (the equivalent of 6 mg/day dexamethasone) for 5–10 days are recommended for patients with features of disease progression based on clinical, biochemical, or radiological criteria after 5 days from symptom onset under close monitoring.

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