Article Publish Status: FREE
Abstract Title:

Evaluation of vitamin C for adjuvant sepsis therapy.

Abstract Source:

Antioxid Redox Signal. 2013 Dec 10 ;19(17):2129-40. Epub 2013 Jun 25. PMID: 23682970

Abstract Author(s):

John X Wilson

Article Affiliation:

John X Wilson


SIGNIFICANCE: Evidence is emerging that parenteral administration of high-dose vitamin C may warrant development as an adjuvant therapy for patients with sepsis.

RECENT ADVANCES: Sepsis increases risk of death and disability, but its treatment consists only of supportive therapies because no specific therapy is available. The characteristics of severe sepsis include ascorbate (reduced vitamin C) depletion, excessive protein nitration in microvascular endothelial cells, and microvascular dysfunction composed of refractive vasodilation, endothelial barrier dysfunction, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. Parenteral administration of ascorbate prevents or even reverses these pathological changes and thereby decreases hypotension, edema, multiorgan failure, and death in animal models of sepsis.

CRITICAL ISSUES: Dehydroascorbic acid appears to be as effective as ascorbate for protection against microvascular dysfunction, organ failure, and death when injected in sepsis models, but information about pharmacodynamics and safety in human subjects is only available for ascorbate. Although the plasma ascorbate concentration in critically ill and septic patients is normalized by repletion protocols that use high doses of parenteral ascorbate, and such doses are tolerated well by most healthy subjects, whether such large amounts of the vitamin trigger adverse effects in patients is uncertain.

FUTURE DIRECTIONS: Further study of sepsis models may determine if high concentrations of ascorbate in interstitial fluid have pro-oxidant and bacteriostatic actions that also modify disease progression. However, the ascorbate depletion observed in septic patients receiving standard care and the therapeutic mechanisms established in models are sufficient evidence to support clinical trials of parenteral ascorbate as an adjuvant therapy for sepsis.

Study Type : Review
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