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Joint Bone Spine. 2010 May;77(3):246-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jbspin.2010.02.009. Epub 2010 May 6.

Infections induced by low-dose corticosteroids in rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic literature review.

Author information

1
Service de rhumatologie B, hôpital Cochin, AP-HP, université Paris V René-Descartes, 27, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Jacques, 75014 Paris, France. adeline.ruyssen@cch.aphp.fr

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To study the association between infection risk and low-dose corticosteroids (LD-CT, defined as a daily dose <10mg/day of prednisone) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

METHODS:

DATA SOURCE:

a systematic review of the literature up to June 2009 was performed. Data extraction :all type of infections: bacterial, viral and postoperative; infection severity, RA activity, RA severity, comorbid conditions.

DATA ANALYSIS:

descriptive, comparing infection risk between LD-CT-treated and LD-CT-not treated RA.

RESULTS:

Of the 1310 screened reports, the literature analysis identified 15 assessing infection risk of LD-CT in RA patients. Of the eight reports that studied all types of infection, six articles found no association between risk of infection and LD-CT, one showed an association between severe infections and LD-CT (OR=8 [1-64]) and another showed a dose-dependent association including doses of less than 5mg/day: RR=1.32 [1.06-1.63] and doses between 6 to 10mg/day: RR=1.95 [1.53-2.46]. Of the three trials that studied infection risk secondary to bacteria, one showed an increased risk (HR=1.7 [1.5-2.0]) while two did not (respectively, exposure to <5mg/day: OR=1.34 [0.85-2.13]; 6 to 9mg/day: OR=1.53 [0.95-2.48] and <5mg/day: OR=1.49 [0.82-2.72]; 5 to 10mg/day: OR=1.46 [0.84-2.54]). None of the three trials studying postoperative infection risk found any association between infection risk and LD-CT treatment. Two reports studied herpes zoster risk and found no association with LD-CT.

CONCLUSION:

There was a paucity of data about LD-CT and infection risk in RA and that risk seems poorly increased. These findings need to be confirmed by further studies.

PMID:
20451437
DOI:
10.1016/j.jbspin.2010.02.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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