Effect of Vitamin C, Thiamine, and Hydrocortisone on Ventilator- And Vasopressor-Free Days in Patients with Sepsis- And VICTAS Randomized Clinical Trial

Jonathan E. Sevransky*, Richard E. Rothman, David N. Hager, Gordon R. Bernard, Samuel M. Brown, Timothy G. Buchman, Laurence W. Busse, Craig M. Coopersmith, Christine Dewilde, E. Wesley Ely, Lindsay M. Eyzaguirre, Alpha A. Fowler, David F. Gaieski, Michelle N. Gong, Alex Hall, Jeremiah S. Hinson, Michael H. Hooper, Gabor D. Kelen, Akram Khan, Mark A. LevineRoger J. Lewis, Chris J. Lindsell, Jessica S. Marlin, Anna McGlothlin, Brooks L. Moore, Katherine L. Nugent, Samuel Nwosu, Carmen C. Polito, Todd W. Rice, Erin P. Ricketts, Caroline C. Rudolph, Fred Sanfilippo, Kert Viele, Greg S. Martin, David W. Wright

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Scopus citations


Importance: Sepsis is a common syndrome with substantial morbidity and mortality. A combination of vitamin C, thiamine, and corticosteroids has been proposed as a potential treatment for patients with sepsis. Objective: To determine whether a combination of vitamin C, thiamine, and hydrocortisone every 6 hours increases ventilator- and vasopressor-free days compared with placebo in patients with sepsis. Design, Setting, and Participants: Multicenter, randomized, double-blind, adaptive-sample-size, placebo-controlled trial conducted in adult patients with sepsis-induced respiratory and/or cardiovascular dysfunction. Participants were enrolled in the emergency departments or intensive care units at 43 hospitals in the United States between August 2018 and July 2019. After enrollment of 501 participants, funding was withheld, leading to an administrative termination of the trial. All study-related follow-up was completed by January 2020. Interventions: Participants were randomized to receive intravenous vitamin C (1.5 g), thiamine (100 mg), and hydrocortisone (50 mg) every 6 hours (n = 252) or matching placebo (n = 249) for 96 hours or until discharge from the intensive care unit or death. Participants could be treated with open-label corticosteroids by the clinical team, with study hydrocortisone or matching placebo withheld if the total daily dose was greater or equal to the equivalent of 200 mg of hydrocortisone. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was the number of consecutive ventilator- and vasopressor-free days in the first 30 days following the day of randomization. The key secondary outcome was 30-day mortality. Results: Among 501 participants randomized (median age, 62 [interquartile range {IQR}, 50-70] years; 46% female; 30% Black; median Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score, 27 [IQR, 20.8-33.0]; median Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score, 9 [IQR, 7-12]), all completed the trial. Open-label corticosteroids were prescribed to 33% and 32% of the intervention and control groups, respectively. Ventilator- and vasopressor-free days were a median of 25 days (IQR, 0-29 days) in the intervention group and 26 days (IQR, 0-28 days) in the placebo group, with a median difference of -1 day (95% CI, -4 to 2 days; P =.85). Thirty-day mortality was 22% in the intervention group and 24% in the placebo group. Conclusions and Relevance: Among critically ill patients with sepsis, treatment with vitamin C, thiamine, and hydrocortisone, compared with placebo, did not significantly increase ventilator- and vasopressor-free days within 30 days. However, the trial was terminated early for administrative reasons and may have been underpowered to detect a clinically important difference. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03509350.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)742-750
Number of pages9
JournalJAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association
Issue number8
StatePublished - 23 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of Vitamin C, Thiamine, and Hydrocortisone on Ventilator- And Vasopressor-Free Days in Patients with Sepsis- And VICTAS Randomized Clinical Trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this