Aetiology and prognostic risk factors of mortality in patients with pneumonia receiving glucocorticoids alone or glucocorticoids and other immunosuppressants: A retrospective cohort study

Lijuan Li, Steven H. Hsu, Xiaoying Gu, Shan Jiang, Lianhan Shang, Guolei Sun, Lingxiao Sun, Li Zhang, Chuan Wang, Yali Ren, Jinxiang Wang, Jianliang Pan, Jiangbo Liu, Cao Bin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives Long-term use of high-dose glucocorticoids can lead to severe immunosuppression and increased risk of treatment-resistant pneumonia and mortality. We investigated the aetiology and prognostic risk factors of mortality in hospitalised patients who developed pneumonia while receiving glucocorticoid therapy alone or glucocorticoid and other immunosuppressant therapies. Design Retrospective cohort study. Setting Six secondary and tertiary academic hospitals in China. Participants Patients receiving glucocorticoids who were hospitalised with pneumonia between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2019. Main outcomes We analysed the prevalence of comorbidities, microbiology, antibiotic susceptibility patterns, 30-day and 90-day mortality and prognostic risk factors. ResultsConclusions A total of 716 patients were included, with pneumonia pathogens identified in 69.8% of patients. Significant morbidities occurred, including respiratory failure (50.8%), intensive care unit transfer (40.8%) and mechanical ventilation (36%), with a 90-day mortality of 26.0%. Diagnosis of pneumonia occurred within 6 months of glucocorticoid initiation for 69.7% of patients with Cytomegalovirus (CMV) pneumonia and 79.0% of patients with Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP). Pathogens, including Pneumocystis, CMV and multidrug-resistant bacteria, were identified more frequently in patients with persistent lymphocytopenia and high-dose glucocorticoid treatment (≥30 mg/day of prednisolone or equivalent within 30 days before admission). The 90-day mortality was significantly lower for non-CMV viral pneumonias than for PCP (p<0.05), with a similar mortality as CMV pneumonias (24.2% vs 38.1% vs 27.4%, respectively). Cox regression analysis indicated several independent negative predictors for mortality in this patient population, including septic shock, respiratory failure, persistent lymphocytopenia, interstitial lung disease and high-dose glucocorticoid use. Patients who developed pneumonia while receiving glucocorticoid therapy experienced high rates of opportunistic infections, with significant morbidity and mortality. These findings should be carefully considered when determining treatment strategies for this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere037419
JournalBMJ open
Volume10
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 27 2020

Keywords

  • adult intensive & critical care
  • diagnostic microbiology
  • infectious diseases
  • microbiology
  • respiratory infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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