Background: Sepsis is a health problem of global importance; treatments focus on controlling infection and supporting failing organs. Recent clinical research suggests that intravenous vitamin C may decrease mortality in sepsis. We have designed a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to ascertain the effect of vitamin C on the composite endpoint of death or persistent organ dysfunction at 28 days in patients with sepsis.
Methods: LOVIT (Lessening Organ dysfunction with VITamin C) is a multicenter, parallel-group, blinded (participants, clinicians, study personnel, Steering Committee members, data analysts), superiority RCT (minimum n = 800). Eligible patients have sepsis as the diagnosis for admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) and are receiving vasopressors. Those admitted to the ICU for more than 24 h are excluded. Eligible patients are randomized to high-dose intravenous vitamin C (50 mg/kg every 6 h for 96 h) or placebo. The primary outcome is a composite of death or persistent organ dysfunction (need for vasopressors, invasive mechanical ventilation, or new and persisting renal replacement therapy) at day 28. Secondary outcomes include persistent organ dysfunction-free days to day 28, mortality and health-related quality of life at 6 months, biomarkers of dysoxia, inflammation, infection, endothelial function, and adverse effects (hemolysis, acute kidney injury, and hypoglycemia). Six subgroup analyses are planned.
Discussion: This RCT will provide evidence of the effect of high-dose intravenous vitamin C on patient-important outcomes in patients with sepsis.
Trial registration: clinicaltrials.gov, NCT03680274, first posted 21 September 2018.
Keywords: biomarkers; randomized controlled trial; sepsis; septic shock; vitamin C.