Background: Getting the basics right in all illness is vital. In sepsis, this means appropriate use of antibiotics, judicious fluid resuscitation, and early identification. Vasopressor support is also essential in the sickest sepsis patients (i.e. septic shock). Should the metabolic cocktail (thiamine, vitamin C and hydrocrotisone) be part of that initial package? We’ve previously reviewed the key articles in this area: CITRIS-ALI, VITAMINS, and the original before and after Marik trial. Now we have our next RCT, the HYVCTTSSS trial.
From a pathophysiologic standpoint, Vitamin C levels are thought to be low in critically ill patients with sepsis. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that prevents vascular endothelial damage and helps maintain microvascular integrity. Additionally, it is a cofactor for catecholamine synthesis which helps maintain vascular tone and cardiac output. Glucocorticoids have been shown to reduce time to shock relief and length of ICU stay, but not mortality. The addition of thiamine can help promote oxalate decomposition, which reduces vitamin C metabolites from depositing and crystalizing in kidneys. While these medications are cheap, the more important question is do they improve patient-oriented outcomes? The previous literature on whether this translates to patient oriented benefits has been mostly negative thus far....Read More
Background: The overall mortality in sepsis has decreased quite a bit in the last decade or so, however for a subset of patients, like those with Septic Shock, the mortality still remains high (as high as 50%). There have been hundreds of studies trying to identify the holy grail to decrease mortality further, but one has not been found thus far. Marik PE et al  published a study in Chest 2016 that has found a potential front runner. In addition, the authors go on to say, in order to have an impact on a global scale, treatments would not only need to be effective, but also cheap, safe, and readily available; the authors of the following paper may have found just that.....Read More