UMEM Educational Pearls

There has been interest in vitamin C as an adjunctive therapy in patients with systemic inflammation and vasoplegia to reduce inflammation. While it was suggested that vitamin C may have some benefit (along with hydrocortisone and thiamine) in septic shock, the LOVIT trial showed possible harm from high-dose vitamin C administration in septic ICU patients. The  VALENCIA trial sought to evaluate whether vitamin C could reduce the duration of vasopressor therapy in patients with moderate vasoplegic shock.

-double-blinded RCT at two tertiary centers, 71 patients (36 to placebo, 35 to vitamin C)
-adult patients with vasoplegic shock of any cause
-vasopressor requirement >10 μg/min of norepi after hypovolemia was excluded
-notable exclusion criteria: end-stage renal failure and expected survival <12 hrs

-65 pts with septic shock, 6 pts with non-infectious cause
-no significant difference in the duration of vasopressors between the treatment group (median, 44 h [95% CI, 37-54 hrs]) and the control group (55 hrs [95% CI, 33-66 hrs])
-also no statistically significant difference in the vasopressor dose at 12 hourly time points, ICU or 28-day mortality and ICU or hospital length of stay

Take-home points:
Small study that ultimately may be under-powered but did not show that vitamin C reduces vasopressor duration in moderate vasoplegic shock


Anstey MH, Aljeaidi MS, Palmer R, et al. Intravenous vitamin C for vasoplegia: A double-blinded randomised clinical trial (VALENCIA trial). Journal of Critical Care. 2023;78:154369.