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Corticosteroids for acute ischaemic stroke

Sandercock PAG, Soane T
Published Online: 
7 September 2011

There is no evidence of benefit from corticosteroids for acute ischaemic stroke. Stroke from blockage of an artery to a part of the brain causes swelling of that part of the brain. The swelling produces pressure effects, may cause additional brain cells to die, or delays the recovery of damaged but recoverable brain cells. Reduction of this swelling may relieve pressure on adjacent parts of the brain, reduce the number of brain cells that are killed and allow better recovery of damaged brain cells. Corticosteroids have been used to reduce this brain swelling in order to help limit damage and speed recovery. However, from the small and inadequate amount of evidence available from eight trials involving 466 participants, this review found no benefit of corticosteroids on reducing the number of deaths or improving functional outcome in survivors.

This record should be cited as: 
Sandercock PAG, Soane T. Corticosteroids for acute ischaemic stroke. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD000064. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000064.pub2
Assessed as up to date: 
9 March 2011