Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System led a study where most of their patients took prednisone, another steroid in the same family as dexamethasone, and found patients with high inflammation levels were associated with a 75% reduction in risk of going on mechanical ventilation or dying…

Authors of the Einstein-Montefiore study found a simple blood test could dictate when a doctor should treat their patient with steroids. The blood test measures levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which the liver produces in response to inflammation.

Steroid use in patients with a CRP level greater than 20 were associated with a reduced risk of mechanical ventilation or death. However, if CRP levels were less than 10, steroid use was associated with a 200% increased risk.