Systematic review and meta-analysis of adjunctive corticosteroids in the treatment of tuberculous pericarditis

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S E T T I N G: Tuberculosis (TB) is the most common cause of pericarditis worldwide and carries a high mortality, even with effective anti-tuberculosis treatment. In the light of a randomized control trial in 2014, the American Thoracic Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Infectious Diseases Society of America recently revised their recommendations against the routine use of adjunctive corticosteroids. O B J E C T I V E: To evaluate the strength of evidence that resulted in this reversal of the guideline recommendations on the use of adjunctive corticosteroids in TB pericarditis by a meta-analysis, followed by a sensitivity analysis. D E S I G N: Systematic review and meta-analysis of published randomized control trials. R E S U LT S: We identified five randomized control trials that met the eligibility criteria. Combining the results of the included trials, there was no overall mortality benefit from adjunctive corticosteroids (a random-effects model yielded a non-significant relative risk of 0.66 and 95%CI of 0.35-1.27). A sensitivity analysis further confirmed that the results of the meta-analysis were robust. C O N C L U S I O N: Routine addition of oral corticosteroids to standard anti-tuberculosis treatment does not reduce mortality among patients with TB pericarditis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-556
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • Meta-analysis
  • Mortality
  • Pericarditis
  • Steroids
  • Tuberculosis


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