Low-to-Moderate Dosage and Short-Term Use of Corticosteroids Benefit Patients With Severe COVID-19 Infections

Liuqing Yang, Ling Peng, Weibo Wu, Mengli Cao, Chuming Chen, Fuxiang Wang, Jennifer St Sauver, Yingxia Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the FDA has given emergency use authorization (EUA) for some antiviral drugs for the treatment of COVID-19, no direct antiviral drugs have been identified for the treatment of critically ill patients, the most important treatment is suppression of the hyperinflammation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of corticosteroids in hospitalized severe or critical patients positive for COVID-19. This is a retrospective single-center descriptive study. Patients classified as having severe or critical COVID-19 infections with acute respiratory dysfunction syndrome in Shenzhen Third People’s Hospital were enrolled from January 11th to March 30th, 2020. Ninety patients were classified as having severe or critical COVID-19 infections. The patients were treated with methylprednisolone with a low-to-moderate dosage and short duration. The days from the symptom onset to methylprednisolone were about 8 days. Eighteen patients were treated with invasive ventilation and intensive care unit (ICU) care. All the patients in the severe group and ten in the critical group recovered and were discharged. Three critical cases with invasive ventilation died. Although cases were much more severe in the corticosteroid-treated group, the mortality was not significantly increased. Early use of low-to-moderate dosage and short duration of corticosteroid may be the more accurate immune-modulatory treatment and brings more benefits to severe patients with COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number953328
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
StatePublished - Jul 19 2022


  • Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
  • corticosteroid
  • mortality rate
  • propensity score matching (PSM)
  • severe and critical illness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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