Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Free Content A systematic review of the adjunctive use of systemic corticosteroids for pulmonary tuberculosis

Download Article:
(PDF 62.3 kb)
OBJECTIVE: To determine the safety and benefit of adjunctive systemic corticosteroid therapy in the management of pulmonary tuberculosis.

METHODS: A systematic review of 11 randomized, comparative clinical trials published from 1959 to 1999 involving the use of prednisone, prednisolone and/or adrenocorticotrophin (ACTH) in conjunction with standard anti-tuberculosis chemotherapy. A total of 1814 steroid-treated patients were analyzed, most of whom had moderate to severe disease and cavitation. Clinical, microbiologic and radiographic outcome measures included time to defervescence, weight gain, normalization of serum albumin level and erythrocyte sedimentation rate, length of hospitalization, rate and rapidity of sputum conversion and radiographic regression of pulmonary infiltrates and cavities.

RESULTS: Corticosteroid therapy resulted in broad and significant clinical benefits in almost all of the studies reviewed. More rapid radiographic resolution of pulmonary infiltrates and, to a lesser extent, closure of cavities accompanied steroid use, especially in the first 4 months, but extended up to one year after initiation of treatment. Steroids did not have any appreciable effect on the speed or rate of sputum conversion. No detrimental side-effects attributed to steroid therapy or bacteriologic relapse were observed.

CONCLUSION: The adjunctive use of systemic corticosteroid therapy can safely provide significant early and prolonged clinical and radiographic benefits in selected patients with advanced pulmonary tuberculosis.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: adjunctive; corticosteroids; pulmonary; tuberculosis

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: Department of Medicine, The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan

Publication date: March 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on lung health world-wide.

    To share scientific research of immediate concern as rapidly as possible, The Union is fast-tracking the publication of certain articles from the IJTLD and publishing them on The Union website, prior to their publication in the Journal. Read fast-track articles.

    Certain IJTLD articles are also selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. These are available on the Union website.

  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
  • Public Health Action
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more