Combined vitamin C, hydrocortisone, and thiamine therapy for patients with severe pneumonia who were admitted to the intensive care unit: Propensity score-based analysis of a before-after cohort study, 2018

Topics: Ascorbic acid, Hydrocortisone, Intensive care unit, Pneumonia, Thiamine

Authors: Won-Young Kim, Eun-Jung Jo, Jung Seop Eom, Jeongha Mok, Mi-Hyun Kim, Ki Uk Kim, Hye-Kyung Park, Min Ki Lee, Kwangha Lee

Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy of combined vitamin C, hydrocortisone, and thiamine in patients with severe pneumonia.

Materials and methods: All consecutive patients with severe pneumonia who were treated with the vitamin C protocol (6 g of vitamin C per day) in June 2017-January 2018 (n = 53) were compared to all consecutive patients with severe pneumonia who were treated in June 2016-January 2017 (n = 46). Propensity score analysis was used to adjust for potential baseline differences between the groups.

Results: In the propensity-matched cohort (n = 36/group), the treated patients had significantly less hospital mortality than the control group (17% vs. 39%; P = 0.04). The vitamin C protocol associated independently with decreased mortality in propensity score-adjusted analysis (adjusted odds ratio = 0.15, 95% confidence interval = 0.04-0.56, P = 0.005). Relative to the control group, the treatment group had a significantly higher median improvement in the radiologic score at day 7 compared with baseline (4 vs. 2; P = 0.045). The vitamin C protocol did not increase the rates of acute kidney injury or superinfection.

Conclusions: Combined vitamin C, hydrocortisone, and thiamine therapy may benefit patients with severe pneumonia.

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