Background: While the results of previous meta-analyses have shown beneficial effects of corticosteroid therapy on post-extubation stridor and extubation failure in adults, these results might not be generalizable to children because of the differences in anatomy and structure. We aimed to determine the benefits of corticosteroids on those outcomes in pediatric populations. Methods: We searched PubMed, EMBASE, and reference lists of articles from inception until February 2019. Randomized controlled trials and observational studies on the efficacy of systemic corticosteroid administration given prior to elective extubation in mechanically ventilated pediatrics were eligible. Outcomes included post-extubation stridor indicating laryngeal edema and extubation failures. Results: A total of ten randomized controlled trials with 591 pediatric patients were included: seven of the ten studies for post-extubation stridor/suspected upper airway obstruction and nine of the ten studies for extubation failure. The estimate of pooled odds ratios (ORs) for post-extubation stridor/suspected upper airway obstruction was 0.40 (95% CI: 0.21–0.79). When analysis was restricted to trials that had explicit data for infants and explicit data for pediatric patients under 5 years old excluding infants, the estimates of pooled ORs were 0.53 (95% CI: 0.20–1.40) and 0.68 (95% CI: 0.38–1.22), respectively. For pediatric patients who received corticosteroids, there was a 0.37-fold lower odds of extubation failure than that in pediatric patients who did not receive corticosteroids (OR, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.22–0.61). While three observational studies were included in this review, their estimates have a potential for bias and we did not perform a meta-analysis. Conclusions: Despite a relatively small sample size in each randomized controlled trial and wide ranges of ages and steroid administration regimens, our results suggest that the use of corticosteroids for prevention of post-extubation stridor and extubation failure could be considered to be acceptable in pediatric patients.
- Laryngeal edema
- Mechanical ventilation
- Respiratory sounds
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine