Corticosteroid Use in Otolaryngology: Current Considerations During the COVID-19 Era Article

Full Text via DOI: 10.1177/01945998211064275 Web of Science: 000730398700001
International Collaboration

Cited authors

  • Chang CWD, McCoul ED, Briggs SE, Guardiani EA, Durand ML, Hadlock TA, Hillel AT, Kattar N, Openshaw PJM, Osazuwa-Peters N, Poetker DM, Shin JJ, Chandrasekhar SS, Bradford CR, Brenner MJ


  • Objective To offer pragmatic, evidence-informed advice on administering corticosteroids in otolaryngology during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, considering therapeutic efficacy, potential adverse effects, susceptibility to COVID-19, and potential effects on efficacy of vaccination against SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. Data Sources PubMed, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, CINAHL, and guideline databases. Review Methods Guideline search strategies, supplemented by database searches on sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL), idiopathic facial nerve paralysis (Bell's palsy), sinonasal polyposis, laryngotracheal disorders, head and neck oncology, and pediatric otolaryngology, prioritizing systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials, and COVID-19-specific findings. Conclusions Systemic corticosteroids (SCSs) reduce long-term morbidity in individuals with SSNHL and Bell's palsy, reduce acute laryngotracheal edema, and have benefit in perioperative management for some procedures. Topical or locally injected corticosteroids are preferable for most other otolaryngologic indications. SCSs have not shown long-term benefit for sinonasal disorders. SCSs are not a contraindication to vaccination with COVID-19 vaccines approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that these vaccines are safe for immunocompromised patients. Implications for Practice SCS use for SSNHL, Bell's palsy, laryngotracheal edema, and perioperative care should follow prepandemic standards. Local or topical corticosteroids are preferable for most other otolaryngologic indications. Whether SCSs attenuate response to vaccination against COVID-19 or increase susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection is unknown. Immunosuppression may lower vaccine efficacy, so immunocompromised patients should adhere to recommended infection control practices. COVID-19 vaccination with Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines is safe for immunocompromised patients.

Publication date

  • 2021

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0194-5998

Number of pages

  • 18