Study designs of evaluations included in the review
The inclusion criteria for study deign were not specified.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies assessing steroid therapy of at least 10 days' duration or no steroid therapy were eligible for inclusion. Three of the included studies compared steroid and no steroid therapy, otherwise the studies evaluated only one regimen. The studies evaluating steroid therapy used a range of different steroids including dexamethasone, depomedrol, prednisone, prednisolone, methylprednisolone, cortisone and hydrocortisone. Treatment duration varied between the studies. In most of the studies patients received antibiotic treatment in conjunction with steroids, and in some studies additional treatment modalities were used to prevent stricture formation.
Participants included in the review
Patients with endoscopically documented grade II oesophageal burns were eligible for inclusion. Grade II burns were defined as submucosal burns, ulcerations and exudates that were not circumferential (grade IIa), or exudates that were circumferential (grade IIb). The majority of the included studies were predominantly of children.
Outcomes assessed in the review
The outcome of interest was oesophageal strictures.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
The authors did not state how the papers were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.