Li S, Zhong X, Hong S, Li T, Jiang L. Prednisolone/prednisone as adrenocorticotropic hormone alternative for infantile spasms: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2020 May;62(5):575-580. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.14452. Epub 2020 Jan 5. PMID: 31903560.
Aim: To compare the efficacy and safety of prednisolone/prednisone and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) in the treatment of infantile spasms using a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs).
Method: In a systematic literature search of electronic databases (MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane Library), we identified RCTs that assessed prednisolone/prednisone compared with ACTH/tetracosactide in patients with infantile spasms. The electroclinical response and adverse events were evaluated.
Results: Six RCTs (616 participants) were included in the meta-analysis. Compared with prednisolone/prednisone, ACTH/tetracosactide was not superior in terms of cessation of spasms at day 14 (relative risk 1.19, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.74-1.92), day 42 (relative risk 1.02, 95% CI 0.63-1.65), and resolution of hypsarrhythmia on electroencephalogram (relative risk 1.14, 95% CI 0.71-1.81); the incidences of common adverse reactions caused by ACTH/tetracosactide were not lower than that of prednisolone/prednisone for irritability (relative risk 0.79, 95% CI 0.57-1.10), increased appetite (relative risk 0.78, 95% CI 0.57-1.08), weight gain (relative risk 0.86, 95% CI 0.56-1.32), and gastrointestinal upset (relative risk 0.60, 95% CI 0.35-1.02), though it seemed less frequent.
Interpretation: Prednisolone/prednisone elicits a similar electroclinical response as ACTH for infantile spasms, which indicates that it can be an alternative to ACTH for treating infantile spasms. What this paper adds Prednisolone/prednisone is as effective as adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) in electroclinical response of infantile spasms. Prednisolone/prednisone and ACTH cause similar and tolerable adverse effects, whose incidences are comparable. High-dose prednisone/prednisolone might be preferable to low dose for achieving freedom from spasms.
Kelley SA. Corticosteroids and ACTH for infantile spasms: are we closer to equipoise? Dev Med Child Neurol. 2020 May;62(5):540-541. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.14483. Epub 2020 Feb 12. PMID: 32052417.