Corticosteroids are widely prescribed worldwide. It is estimated that, at any point of time, about 1% of the general population is receiving oral corticosteroids.
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An increase risk of infectious and thromboembolic complications?
Glucocorticoids are often prescribed to patients about to undergo major surgery as part of a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (UC)-type.
An American study has focused on early complications occurring after major surgery in 8260 patients with Crohn’s disease and 7235 patients with UC and compared the occurrence of these early complications between two groups of patients: those who received glucocorticoids before surgery and those who did not receive this treatment.
The authors of this study found that infectious complications and thromboembolic events (i.e., phlebitis type) were slightly more frequent in the group of patients who received preoperative glucocorticoids.
However, the authors recognize that some parameters not included in the analyses (eg, initial severity of the disease, use of other immunosuppressants such as azathioprine) may have influenced the results.
They stress the need to apply adequate measures in order to avoid such complications.
The abstract of the study can be accessed by clicking on the following link: