Several clinical trials have documented clinical benefits associated with prophylactic corticosteroid administration at the time of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, including a reduction in the risk of atrial fibrillation and hospital length of stay. Despite the published data, the extent to which providers have adopted the perioperative use of corticosteroids remains unknown.
To assess temporal trends, between-hospital variation, and determinants of perioperative intravenous corticosteroid use during CABG surgery.
We identified all patients admitted for CABG surgery in the Premier Healthcare Database (2003-2014), a large US-based inpatient database. We determined the proportion of patients administered prophylactic corticosteroids on the day of CABG surgery. Linear time-series models were used to estimate the rate and trend of corticosteroid use over time. Separate multivariable generalized estimating equation models were used to quantify the variation in and determinants of perioperative corticosteroid use.
Of 401 788 eligible patients who underwent a CABG surgery between 2003 and 2014, 20% (n = 80 681) were administered intravenous prophylactic perioperative corticosteroids (methylprednisolone, dexamethasone, or hydrocortisone). Corticosteroid use increased from 17.5% in 2003 to 22.6% in 2014 (annual rate = 0.42%; P < .001). Individual hospitals accounted for >50% of variation in corticosteroid use. High between-hospital variation was also observed, and the probability of utilization was ≥32.4% in the upper versus ≤3.4% in the bottom quartiles of hospitals.
Prophylactic corticosteroid administration during CABG has increased gradually since 2003. To further evaluate the risk–benefit trade-off associated with their use, we believe a large-scale outcomes study is warranted to assess this highly variable practice.