Did IV High-Dose Vitamin C Improve Outcomes for Patients With Sepsis and Severe Lung Condition?



Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Alpha A. Fowler III, M.D., email Laura Rossacher at lrossacher@vcu.edu. The full study and editorial are linked to this news release. A visual abstract is below.

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Bottom Line: This randomized clinical trial looked at whether high-dose vitamin C delivered intravenously could reduce organ failure, inflammation and vascular injury in patients with sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a severe lung condition that is a common organ injury associated with sepsis. Previous research has suggested that intravenous vitamin C may lessen inflammation and vascular injury. In this trial, 167 patients with sepsis and ARDS at seven intensive care units in the United States received intravenous vitamin C or placebo every six hours for 96 hours. The authors report that compared with placebo, intravenous vitamin C didn’t result in improved measures of organ dysfunction or levels of biomarkers indicating inflammation (C-reactive protein) or vascular injury (the anticoagulant thrombomodulin) by seven days. Limitations of this preliminary study include that it may have been underpowered to detect differences in measures of organ failure and biomarker levels and the dosage of vitamin C may have been insufficient.

Authors: Alpha A. Fowler III, M.D., Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, and coauthors


Visual Abstract



Editor’s Note: The article includes conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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