The outcome of IV vitamin C therapy in patients with sepsis or septic shock: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

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Crit Care. 2023 Mar 13;27(1):109. doi: 10.1186/s13054-023-04392-y.


BACKGROUND: To update a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and further explore the outcome of IV vitamin C (IVVC) administration in sepsis or septic shock patients.

METHODS: This study is a meta-analysis of RCTs. The RCTs of vitamin C therapy in sepsis or septic shock were searched in PubMed, EMBASE and Clinical from inception to January 16, 2023. We registered the protocol with PROSPERO (CRD42022354875). The primary outcome was delta Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score at 72-96 h. Two reviewers independently assessed RCTs according to eligibility criteria: (1) study type: RCT; (2) patient population: patients ≥ 18 years with sepsis or septic shock; (3) intervention: IVVC at any doses as monotherapy or combined with thiamine or and hydrocortisone compared with standard of care, no intervention or placebo (defined as control group); (4) the RCT described short-term mortality or SOFA score. Then, two authors independently extracted related information from RCTs.

RESULTS: Eighteen RCTs (n = 3364 patients) were identified in this meta-analysis. There were significant effects in the delta SOFA score from baseline to 72-96 h (MD, - 0.62; 95% CI, - 1.00 to - 0.25; p = 0.001) and the duration of vasopressor use (MD, - 15.07; 95% CI, - 21.59 to - 8.55; p < 0.00001) with IVVC therapy. Treatment with IVVC was not shown to improve short-term mortality (OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.77 to 1.04; p = 0.14); nevertheless, dose at 25-100 mg/kg/d subgroup associated with a significant reduction in short-term mortality (OR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.65 to 0.97; p = 0.03). An increase adverse event was observed in IVVC therapy (OR, 1.98; 95% CI, 1.06 to 3.68; p = 0.03).

CONCLUSION: In this meta-analysis, IVVC in sepsis or septic shock patients significantly improved delta SOFA score and reduced the duration of vasopressor use, whereas it was not associated with reduction in short-term mortality and had higher adverse events.

PMID:36915173 | DOI:10.1186/s13054-023-04392-y

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