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Am Surg. 2011 Oct;77(10):1295-9.

Are high-dose perioperative steroids necessary in patients undergoing colorectal surgery treated with steroid therapy within the past 12 months?

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Department of Surgery, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA.


Patients previously on corticosteroids within 1 year before surgery are routinely treated with perioperative high-dose corticosteroids. However, there is little evidence to support this practice. We postulated that patients off steroids but treated with corticosteroids within 1 year before surgery may be safely managed without perioperative steroids. A chart review was performed on patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) treated with corticosteroids within 1 year before surgery. Patients received either perioperative high-dose steroids (HDS) or no steroids (NS). Perioperative vital signs were assessed. Forty-nine operations were performed. Eleven patients received HDS and 38 patients received NS. Aside from a higher incidence of tachycardia (heart rate greater than 100 beats/min) in the HDS group (82%) compared with the NS group (42%), there was no significant difference in hemodynamic instability between the two groups. One patient in the NS group required a single dose of intraoperative vasopressor after aggressive beta-blockade. All other episodes of hemodynamic instability resolved with no intervention, fluid boluses, or blood transfusion. No patients required rescue high-dose steroids for adrenal insufficiency. In patients with IBD undergoing major colorectal surgery, treated with corticosteroids within the past year, management without perioperative steroids seems safe. A prospective study assessing perioperative corticosteroid dosing is in progress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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