Skip to main content

Table 3 Controlled studies on the effect of vitamin C in critically ill patients

From: Vitamin C revisited

Study Design Intervention Number of patients Outcome
Nathens and colleagues [104] RCT; trauma and MOF i.v. vitamin C 1 g three times daily; enteral vitamin E 1,000 IU three times daily 301 Pulmonary morbidity ↓, new MOF ↓, LOS ventilation ↓, LOS ICU ↓
   With TPN, vitamin C 100 mg and vitamin E 10 IU daily; with EN, vitamin C 340 mg/l, vitamin E 60 IU/l 294  
Crimi and colleagues [107] RCT; critically ill (mainly trauma, cardiogenic shock) Vitamin C 500 mg/day and vitamin E (400 IU/day) in EN 105 Ventilator-free days ↓, 28-day mortality ↓
   Saline solution for 10 days 111  
Collier and colleagues [103] Prospective vs. retrospective 1-year cohort; trauma i.v. or oral vitamin C 1 g three times daily + oral vitamin E 1,000 IU three times daily + selenium 200 μg i.v. 2,272 LOS ICU ↓, LOS hospital ↓, mortality ↓; OR 0.32, 95 % CI 0.22 to 0.46
   Standard therapy 2,022  
Berger and colleagues [105] RCT; complicated cardiac surgery, trauma, SAB Selenium 540 i.v. day 1, 270 μg days 2 to 5; zinc 60 mg i.v. day 1, 30 mg days 2 to 5; vitamin B1 305 mg i.v. day 1, 205 mg days 2 to 5; vitamin C 2.7 g i.v. day 1, 1.6 g days 2 to 5; vitamin E 600 mg i.v. day 1, 300 mg days 2 to 5 102 New organ failure ND, new infections ND, LOS shorter in trauma, CRP ↓ in cardiac surgery and trauma, recovery of health after discharge ↑
   Vitamin B1 100 mg i.v. days 1 to 3 (both groups); vitamin C 500 mg i.v. days 1 to 5 (both groups) 98  
Heyland and colleagues [106] RCT, 2 × 2 factorial; critically ill adults with multiple organ failure Selenium 500 μg i.v., selenium 300 μg or zinc 20 mg or β-carotene 10 mg; vitamin E 500 mg or vitamin C 1,500 mg 307 No difference in 28-day mortality or length of stay
Burn   Placebo 300  
Tanaka and colleagues [84] RCT; severe burn <2 hours Ringer lactate + 66 mg/kg/hour vitamin C 19 Fluid requirements ↓, body weight gain ↓, PF ratio ↑, days on mechanical ventilation ↓
   Ringer lactate for 24 hours 18  
Kahn and colleagues [85] Retrospective; severe burn <10 hours Ringer lacate + 66 mg/kg/hour vitamin C 17 Fluid requirements ↓, urinary output ↑
   Ringer lactate for 24 hours 16  
  1. CI, confidence interval; CRP, C-reactive protein; EN, enteral nutrition; i.v., intravenously; LOS, length of stay; OR, odds ratio; MOF, multiple organ failure; ND, no difference; PF, ratio of partial oxygen pressure in arterial blood to fraction of inspired oxygen; RCT, randomized controlled trial; TPN, total parenteral nutrition; SAB, subarachnoid bleeding. ↑, increase; ↓, decrease; =, constant.