Effect of Vitamin C on mortality of critically ill patients with severe pneumonia in intensive care unit: a preliminary study

Link to article at PubMed

BMC Infect Dis. 2021 Jun 29;21(1):616. doi: 10.1186/s12879-021-06288-0.


BACKGROUND: Critically ill patients frequently suffer from vitamin C deficiency. Previous studies showed that high doses of vitamin C administration had conflicting results on clinical outcomes in patients with severe sepsis, burns, and trauma. Because of the high incidence and morbidity/mortality with severe pneumonia, we aimed to investigate the effect of administration of high dose vitamin C in critically ill patients with severe pneumonia.

METHODS: Eighty critically ill patients with pneumonia were enrolled in this randomized double-blinded clinical trial. Patients with a CURB-65 score > 3, one major criterion, or ≥ 3 minor criteria were considered as severe pneumonia. Patients were randomly assigned to intervention or placebo groups receiving standard treatment plus 60 mg/kg/day vitamin C as a continuous infusion or normal saline in the same volume correspondingly for 96 h. Serum levels of vitamin C were noted at baseline and 48 h after vitamin C administration. Duration of mechanical ventilation, ICU length of stay, PaO2/FiO2, and mortality rate were noted for all patients till the 28th day. Any complications related to the vitamin C administration were recorded.

RESULTS: Duration of mechanical ventilation and vasopressor use were significantly lower in the intervention group (p: < 0.001 and 0.003, respectively). Baseline levels of vitamin C in both groups did not have a significant difference but its levels increased in the intervention group and decreased in the control group during the study period. Mortality rate insignificantly decreased in the intervention group (p = 0.17). Three patients showed hypotension and tachycardia during the administration of vitamin C which was self-limited with decreasing the dose of vitamin C. Our results showed that the intravenous administration of a relatively high dose of vitamin C to critically ill patients with severe pneumonia was safe and could decrease the inflammation, duration of mechanical ventilation, and vasopressor use without any significant effect on mortality.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: IRCT registration number: IRCT20190312043030N1, Registration date: 2019-08-26, Seied Hadi Saghaleini.

PMID:34187382 | DOI:10.1186/s12879-021-06288-0

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