The use of corticosteroid therapy in patients with sepsis and septic
shock has a long and controversial history. The first study suggesting that
steroids could prove beneficial in this patient population was published in
1951,1 and the results of more than 50 clinical
investigations exploring this hypothesis have been published since.2,3 Early reports4
suggested that survival was improved; but subsequent large, randomized studies
and meta-analyses failed to show a mortality benefit and have even indicated
that steroid therapy may be harmful.2,3,5
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