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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 83

of 'Anaphylaxis: Emergency treatment'

Emergency Department Corticosteroid Use for Allergy or Anaphylaxis Is Not Associated With Decreased Relapses.
Grunau BE, Wiens MO, Rowe BH, McKay R, Li J, Yi TW, Stenstrom R, Schellenberg RR, Grafstein E, Scheuermeyer FX
Ann Emerg Med. 2015 Oct;66(4):381-9. Epub 2015 Mar 25.
STUDY OBJECTIVE: Corticosteroids (steroids) are often used to mitigate symptoms and prevent subsequent reactions in emergency department (ED) patients with allergic reactions, despite a lack of evidence to support their use. We sought to determine the association of steroid administration with improved clinical outcomes.
METHODS: Adult allergy-related encounters to 2 urban EDs during a 5-year period were identified and classified as "anaphylaxis" or "allergic reaction." Regional and provincial databases identified subsequent ED visits or deaths within a 7-day period. The primary outcome was allergy-related ED revisits in the steroid- and nonsteroid-exposed groups, adjusting for potential confounders with a propensity score analysis; secondary outcomes included the number of clinically important biphasic reactions and deaths.
RESULTS: Two thousand seven hundred one encounters (473 anaphylactic) were included; 48% were treated with steroids. Allergy-related ED revisits occurred in 5.8% and 6.7% of patients treated with and without steroids, respectively (adjusted odds ratio [OR]0.91; 95% confidence interval [CI]0.64 to 1.28), with a number needed to treat (NNT) to benefit of 176 (95% CI NNT to benefit 39 to∞to NNT to harm 65). The adjusted OR in the anaphylaxis subgroup was 1.12 (95% CI 0.41 to 3.27). In the allergic reaction group, the adjusted OR was 0.91 (95% CI 0.63 to 1.31), with an NNT to benefit of 173 (95% CI NNT to benefit 38 to∞to NNT to harm 58). In the steroid and nonsteroid groups, there were 4 and 1 clinically important biphasic reactions, respectively. There were no deaths.
CONCLUSION: Among ED patients with allergic reactions or anaphylaxis, corticosteroid use was not associated with decreased relapses to additional care within 7 days.
St. Paul's Hospital, Vancouver, BC, Canada; Department of Emergency Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada; School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada; Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada. Electronic address: brian.grunau2@vch.ca.