This retrospective study aims to evaluate the effect of prolonged methylprednisolone (MP) therapy on the mortality of patients with moderate-to-severe paraquat (PQ) poisoning after the pulse treatment.
We performed a retrospective analysis of patients with acute moderate-to-severe PQ poisoning that were admitted to the emergency department from May 2012 to August 2016. Out of 138 patients, 60 were treated with pulse treatment (15 mg kg–1 day–1 MP for 3 days) and 78 were treated with prolonged MP therapy after pulse treatment (15 mg kg–1 day–1 MP for 3 days; afterward, the dosage was reduced in half every 2 days, and the MP therapy was terminated until 0.47 mg kg–1 day–1). Kaplan–Meier method was used to compare the mortality between the 2 groups. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate the hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).
The mortality of the prolonged MP therapy after pulse treatment group was lower than that of the pulse group (47.4% vs 63.3%; log-rank tests, P = .003). According to the multivariate Cox analysis, the prolonged MP therapy after pulse treatment was significantly associated with a lower mortality risk (HR: 0.31, 95% CI: 0.19–0.52, P < .001) compared with the pulse group. In addition, the prolonged MP therapy after pulse treatment caused more incidences of leucopenia than the pulse treatment alone (25.6% vs 11.7%, P = .04).
The prolonged MP therapy after pulse treatment can reduce the mortality of moderate-to-severe PQ poisoning patients.