Efficacy and Safety of Parenteral High-Dose Vitamin C Therapy in Pediatric Patients: A Scoping Review∗

Fumitaka Yanase, Sainath Raman, Thummaporn Naorungroj, Avril McCarthy, Michele Cree, Luregn J. Schlapbach, Rinaldo Bellomo

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15 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: Recently, several adult trials have investigated the potential benefit of high-dose vitamin C therapy in critically ill patients. In pediatric patients, little is known on the efficacy, safety, and risk of high-dose vitamin C therapy. We aimed to review the efficacy and potential harm associated with high-dose vitamin C treatment. DATA SOURCES: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and National Institute of Health Clinical Trials Register. STUDY SELECTION: We included studies in neonatal and pediatric patients who received IV or intra-arterial high-dose vitamin C (ascorbic acid) defined as greater than or equal to 75 mg/kg/d. Data Extraction: Two independent investigators screened articles and extracted data. DATA SYNTHESIS: We found 1,364 articles, assessed 193 full texts for eligibility, and identified 12 eligible studies. These studies included 855 patients, with 194 receiving high-dose vitamin C. The age of patients who received high-dose vitamin C ranged from 2 hours after delivery to 8.4 years (median 2.4 yr), and the vitamin C dose ranged from 100 to 1,500 mg/kg/d (median 260.5 mg/kg/d). Four studies were double-blind randomized controlled trials, and no clinical efficacy outcome was reported in favor of or against vitamin C. Furthermore, no adverse event or signal of harm was reported with high-dose vitamin C. CONCLUSIONS: In 12 studies with 194 children treated with parenteral high-dose vitamin C, there was no evidence of clinical efficacy or inferior clinical outcomes in double-blind randomized controlled trials, and no reported harmful effects. These findings justify further investigations of this treatment in children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-571
Number of pages11
JournalPediatric Critical Care Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • ascorbic acid
  • child
  • efficacy
  • harm
  • newborn
  • vitamin C

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