, Volume 75, Issue 10, pp 1057-1066

Pulse steroid therapy

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Abstract

Intravenous supra-pharmacological doses of corticosteroids are used in various inflammatory and autoimmune conditions because they are cumulatively less toxic than sustained steroid treatment at lower quantitative dosage. Their action is supposed to be mediated through non-genomic actions within the cell. Common indications for use in children include steroid resistant and steroid dependent nephrotic syndrome, rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis, systemic vasculitis, systemic lupus erythematosus, acute renal allograft rejection, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile dermatomyositis, pemphigus, optic neuritis, multiple sclerosis and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. Methylprednisolone and dexamethasone show similar efficacy in most conditions. Therapy is associated with significant side effects including worsening of hypertension, infections, dyselectrolytemia and behavioral effects. Adequate monitoring is essential during usage.