Irish Journal of Medical Science (1971 -)

, Volume 183, Issue 4, pp 593–600 | Cite as

Dexamethasone for preventing postoperative sore throat: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

  • L. Sun
  • R. Guo
  • L. SunEmail author
Original Article



Postoperative sore throat (POST) is a common complication following tracheal intubation. The effectiveness of prophylactic dexamethasone on POST needs further elucidation.


To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of intravenous dexamethasone for the prevention of POST in patients undergoing endotracheal intubation.


Studies were identified by literature searches of PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane database. Systematic review was performed by two independent investigators.


We summarized 7 RCTs including 727 participants. Intravenous dexamethasone significantly reduced the risk of POST at 24 h [pooled risk ratio (RR) = 0.676; 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.494–0.925; P = 0.014; heterogeneity test, I 2 = 45.8 %], as well as alleviating its severity [standardized mean difference (SMD) = −1.15; 95 % CI −1.86 to −0.45; P = 0.002; heterogeneity test, I 2 = 91.7 %]. Further sub-group analysis indicated a significant relationship between dexamethasone and reduced risk of POST when its dose was over 0.1 mg/kg. No severe adverse effects were reported.


Our results suggest that intravenous dexamethasone reduces the risk and severity of POST from intubation at 24 h. The effective dosage of dexamethasone for preventing the risk of POST appeared to be over 0.1 mg/kg.


Meta-analysis Postoperative sore throat Intubation Randomized controlled trial 



We acknowledge Guang Hao, National Center for Cardiovascular Disease Control and Research, Fuwai Hospital, National heart center, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, for assistance with the statistical analysis.

Conflict of interest

None declared.


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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology, Cancer Institute and Hospital, National Cancer CenterChinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking Union Medical CollegeBeijingChina
  2. 2.National Center for Cardiovascular Disease Control and Research, Fuwai Hospital, National Heart CenterChinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking Union Medical CollegeBeijingChina

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