Sci Rep. 2021 Sep 3;11(1):17648. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-96703-y.
Ascorbic acid represents an appealing option for clinicians to utilize in the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic due to its proposed clinical efficacy, relative safety, and low cost. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of using ascorbic acid in supplemental doses as adjunctive therapy for patients critically ill with COVID-19. This was a two-center, non-interventional, retrospective cohort study. All critically ill adult patients admitted to ICU with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis between March 1st and December 31st, 2020, were included in the final analysis. The study was conducted at two large governmental tertiary hospitals in Saudi Arabia. The purpose was to investigate the clinical outcomes of low-dose ascorbic acid as adjunctive therapy in COVID-19 after propensity score matching using baseline severity scores, systematic use of corticosteroids, and study centers. A number of 739 patients were included in this study, among whom 296 patients were included after propensity score matching. There was no association between the administration of ascorbic acid and in-hospital mortality or the 30-day mortality [OR (95% CI) 0.77 (0.47, 1.23), p value = 0.27 and OR (95% CI) 0.73 (0.43, 1.20), p value = 0.21, respectively]. Using ascorbic acid was associated with a lower incidence of thrombosis compared with the non-ascorbic-acid group [6.1% vs. 13% respectively; OR (95% CI) 0.42 (0.184, 0.937), p value = 0.03]. Low dose of ascorbic acid as an adjunctive therapy in COVID-19 critically ill patients was not associated with mortality benefits, but it was associated with a lower incidence of thrombosis. Further studies are required to confirm these findings.