Background Corticosteroids with or without ephedrine may have positive effects in viral pneumonia treatment accelerating the time to resolution of symtpoms but the evidence is not strong enough to make specific recommandations.
Objectives Evaluating the hospital length stay of the children with viral pneumonia treated with corticosteroids, single or in combination with ephedrine.
Material and Methods The retrospective study included pacients admitted in our clinic with viral pneumonia during 2011. From 167 cases, 78 cases were selected according to specific criteria: patients having received cortisone (hydrocortisone hemisuccinate and/or fluticasone propionate) associated or not with ephedrine (aerosol therapy) and no previous corticotherapy before admittance. Three groups have emerged: group A, children treated with hydrocortisone hemisuccinate (27 cases), group B, children treated with hydrocortisone hemisuccinate and fluticasone propionate (27 cases), group C, children treated with hydrocortisone hemisuccinate and aerosol therapy with ephedrine (24 cases).
A comparative analysis for the three groups regarding hospital length stay, days of treatment for each medication, C reactive protein values and hemogramme profiles has been made using ANOVA test.
Results The doses of corticosteroids were similar in all the groups with no statistical differences. Hospitalization period was significantly reduced (p<0.05) in patients receiving hydrocortisone hemisuccinate for a longer period and significantly (p<0.05) increased in children with marked lymphocytosis.
Association of ephedrine to corticosteroids didn’t reduce the hospitalization period.
Conclusions Corticosteroids could be recommended for a longer period during hospitalization, for their positive effects in accelerating the time to resolution of symtpoms.