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Open Badges Commentary

Corticosteroids in severe community-acquired pneumonia: the path we choose depends on where we want to get

Jorge IF Salluh12*, Márcio Soares12 and Pedro Póvoa3

Author Affiliations

1 D'Or Institute for Research and Education, Rua Diniz Cordeiro, 30, Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro, 22281-100, Brazil

2 Postgraduation Program, Instituto Nacional de Câncer, Praça Cruz Vermelha - Centro, Rio de Janeiro, 20230-130, Brazil

3 Polyvalent Intensive Care Unit, Unidade de Cuidados Intensivos Polivalente, Hospital São Francisco Xavier, Centro Hospitalar de Lisboa Ocidental, EPE, Estrada do Forte do Alto do Duque, 1449-005 Lisboa, Portugal

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Critical Care 2011, 15:137  doi:10.1186/cc10099

See related research by Fernandez-Serrano et al.,

Published: 24 March 2011


Severe community-acquired pneumonia is a major cause of admission to intensive care units and its mortality rates remain exceedingly high. In the search for adjunctive therapies, clinicians who were encouraged by available, though limited, evidence prescribed steroids in most patients with severe sepsis or septic shock, including those with community-acquired pneumonia. Current evidence demonstrates that, whereas corticosteroids should not be routinely employed as adjuvant therapy for severe community-acquired pneumonia, there is sufficient equipoise to continue studying the use of corticosteroids.