Role of systemic corticosteroids in orbital cellulitis: a meta-analysis and literature review

Boo Young Kim, Jung Ho Bae

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: The standard management of orbital cellulitis is to administer a combination of intravenous broad-spectrum antibiotics along with treatment of associated sinusitis. Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the addition of corticosteroids could lead to earlier resolution of inflammation and improve disease outcome. Methods: We independently searched five databases (PubMed, SCOPUS, Embase, the Web of Science, and the Cochrane database) for studies published as recent as December 2019. Of the included studies, we reviewed orbital cellulitis and disease morbidity through lengths of hospitalization, incidence of surgical drainage, periorbital edema, vision, levels or C-reactive protein, and serum WBC levels in order to focus on comparing steroid with antibiotics treated group and only antibiotics treated group. Results: Lengths of hospitalization after admission as diagnosed as orbital cellulitis (SMD = −4.02 [−7.93; −0.12], p-value = 0.04, I2 = 96.9%) decrease in steroid with antibiotics treated group compared to antibiotics only treated group. Incidence of surgical drainage (OR = 0.78 [0.27; 2.23], p-value = 0.64, I2 = 0.0%) was lower in the steroid with antibiotics treated group compared to the antibiotics only treated group. Conclusion: Use of systemic steroids as an adjunct to systemic antibiotic therapy for orbital cellulitis may decrease orbital inflammation with a low risk of exacerbating infection. Based on our analysis, we concluded that early use of steroids for a short period can help shorten hospitalization days and prevent inflammation progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-262
Number of pages6
JournalBrazilian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Associação Brasileira de Otorrinolaringologia e Cirurgia Cérvico-Facial


  • Hospital stays
  • Infection
  • Orbital cellulitis
  • Steroid
  • Surgical drainage


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