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Sao Paulo Medical Journal

Print version ISSN 1516-3180
On-line version ISSN 1806-9460


CICARELLI, Domingos Dias; BENSENOR, Fábio Ely Martins  and  VIEIRA, Joaquim Edson. Effects of single dose of dexamethasone on patients with systemic inflammatory response. Sao Paulo Med. J. [online]. 2006, vol.124, n.2, pp.90-95. ISSN 1516-3180.

CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVE: Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) is a very common condition among critically ill patients. SIRS, sepsis, septic shock and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) can lead to death. Our aim was to investigate the efficacy of a single dose of dexamethasone for blocking the progression of systemic inflammatory response syndrome. DESIGN AND SETTING: Prospective, randomized, double-blind, single-center study in a postoperative intensive care unit (Surgical Support Unit) at Hospital das Clínicas, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de São Paulo. METHODS: The study involved 29 patients with SIRS. All eligible patients were prospectively randomized to receive either a single dose of 0.2 mg/kg of dexamethasone or placebo, after SIRS was diagnosed. The patients were monitored over a seven-day period using Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score (SOFA). RESULTS: The respiratory system showed an improvement on the first day after dexamethasone was administered, demonstrated by the improved PaO2/FiO2 ratio (p < 0.05). The cardiovascular system of patients requiring vasopressor therapy also improved over the first two days, with a better evolution in the dexamethasone group (p < 0.05). Non-surviving patients presented higher lactate assays than did survivors (p < 0.05) during this period. CONCLUSIONS: Dexamethasone enhanced the effects of vasopressor drugs and evaluation of the respiratory system showed improvements (better PaO2/FiO2 ratio), one day after its administration. Despite these improvements, the single dose of dexamethasone did not block the evolution of SIRS.

Keywords : Sepsis syndrome; Sepsis; Inflammation; Adrenal cortex hormones; Dexamethasone.

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