Article Abstract

Vitamin C alone does not improve treatment outcomes in mechanically ventilated patients with severe sepsis or septic shock: a retrospective cohort study

Authors: Jee Hwan Ahn, Dong Kyu Oh, Jin Won Huh, Chae-Man Lim, Younsuck Koh, Sang-Bum Hong

Abstract

Background: Vitamin C has shown several beneficial effects on sepsis in preclinical studies. However, clinical data supporting these reports are scarce. This study aimed to evaluate whether adjunctive intravenous vitamin C therapy could reduce hospital mortality in patients with severe sepsis or septic shock requiring mechanical ventilation.
Methods: For this retrospective cohort study, consecutive medical ICU patients with severe sepsis or septic shock requiring mechanical ventilation were included. The study patients were classified into the vitamin C or control groups depending on the administration of intravenous vitamin C (2 g every 8 hours). The primary outcome was hospital mortality.
Results: Thirty-five patients in the vitamin C group and 40 patients in the control group were included. The two groups were comparable in regards to the baseline characteristics at ICU admission. The hospital mortality was 46% (16 of 35 patients) in the vitamin C group and 40% (16 of 40 patients) in the control group, showing a statistically nonsignificant difference (P=0.62). The mortality at 90 days after ICU admission (60% vs. 48%) did not significantly differ between groups. The median time to shock reversal was 3 days [interquartile range (IQR), 2 to 5 days] in both groups. The changes in the Sepsis-related Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) scores during the first 4 ICU days were −1.4±3.3 and −1.4±3.0 in the vitamin C and control groups, respectively.
Conclusions: Adjunctive intravenous vitamin C therapy alone did not reduce hospital mortality in mechanically ventilated patients with severe sepsis or septic shock.