Category: Critical Care
Keywords: sepsis, septic shock, glucocorticoids, steroids, hydrocortisone (PubMed Search)
As hospital volumes increase and ED patient boarding becomes more commonplace, emergency physicians may find themselves managing critically ill patients beyond the initial resuscitation.
The benefit of glucocorticoids in critically ill patients with septic shock has remained a topic of controversy for decades due to conflicting studies, including the 2002 Annane trial and the 2008 CORTICUS trial, which had opposing results when it came to the mortality benefit of steroids.
The results of the eagerly-awaited ADRENAL trial, a multicenter randomized controlled trial investigating the benefit of steroids in septic shock, were released earlier this month:
Take Home Points:
1. Administration of standard daily dose hydrocortisone by infusion does not seem to affect mortality in septic shock.
2. Emergency providers should continue to consider stress-dose steroids in patients with shock and a high risk of adrenal insufficiency (e.g., chronic steroid therapy, genetic disorders, infectious adrenalitis, etc).