Preliminary clinical study of the effect of ascorbic acid on colistin-associated nephrotoxicity

Rujipas Sirijatuphat, Samornrod Limmahakhun, Vorapan Sirivatanauksorn, Roger Leigh Nation, Jian Li, Visanu Thamlikitkul

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46 Citations (Scopus)


Nephrotoxicity is a dose-limiting factor of colistin, a last-line therapy for multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacterial infections. An earlier animal study revealed a protective effect of ascorbic acid against colistin-induced nephrotoxicity. The present randomized controlled study was conducted in 28 patients and aimed to investigate the potential nephroprotective effect of intravenous ascorbic acid (2 g every 12 h) against colistin-associated nephrotoxicity in patients requiring intravenous colistin. Thirteen patients received colistin plus ascorbic acid, whereas 15 received colistin alone. Nephrotoxicity was defined by the RIFLE classification system. Additionally, urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) and N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) were measured as markers of renal damage, and plasma colistin concentrations were quantified. The baseline characteristics, clinical features, and concomitant treatments of the patients in the two groups were comparable. The incidences of nephrotoxicity were 53.8 (7/13) and 60.0 (9/15) in the colistin-ascorbic acid group and the colistin group, respectively (P = 0.956; relative risk [RR], 0.9; 95 confidence interval, 0.47 to 1.72). In both groups, the urinary excretion rates of NGAL and NAG on day 3 or 5 of colistin treatment and at the end of colistin treatment were significantly higher than those at the respective baselines (P <0.05). However, the urinary excretion rates of these biomarkers at the various times during colistin treatment did not differ significantly between the groups (P > 0.05). The plasma colistin concentrations in the two groups were not significantly different (P > 0.28). The clinical and microbiological outcomes and mortality of the patients in the two groups were not significantly different. This preliminary study suggests that ascorbic acid does not offer a nephroprotective effect for patients receiving intravenous colistin. (This study has been registered at under registration no. NCT01501968.).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3224 - 3232
Number of pages9
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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