Published: 1 July 2020

Authors: Ping Chang, MD, PhD Yuping Liao, MD Jianbin Guan, MD Yuexun Guo, MD Ming Zhao, MD, PhD Jianmin Hu, MD, PhD Jian Zhou, MD Hua Wang, MD, PhD Zhongran Cen, MD, PhD Ying Tang, MD Zhanguo Liu, MD, PhD

Source: This abstract has been sourced from NZ Respiratory Research Review Issue 184


    Whether hydrocortisone, vitamin C, and thiamine treatment can reduce the mortality of patients with sepsis is controversial.

    Research Question

    To evaluate the efficacy and safety of hydrocortisone, vitamin C, and thiamine combination treatment for patients with sepsis or septic shock (HYVCTTSSS).

    Study Design and Methods

    This single-blind, randomized controlled trial evaluated treatment with hydrocortisone (50 mg every 6 h for 7 days), vitamin C (1.5 g every 6 h for 4 days), and thiamine (200 mg every 12 h for 4 days) vs placebo (normal saline) in patients with sepsis. The intention-to-treat analysis was used. Primary outcome was 28-day all-cause mortality, and secondary outcomes were organ protection, procalcitonin reduction, and adverse events related to hydrocortisone, vitamin C, and thiamine.


    Eighty patients were randomized to receive combination treatment (n = 40) or normal saline (n = 40). No difference in 28-day all-cause mortality was observed (27.5% vs 35%, respectively; P = .47); however, treatment was associated with a significant improvement of 72-h change in Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score (P = .02). In adverse events analysis, the treatment group exhibited more incidents of hypernatremia (P = .005). In prespecified subgroup analysis, patients of the treatment subgroup diagnosed with sepsis within 48 h showed lower mortality than those in the control subgroup (P = .02). The study was terminated after the midterm analysis.


    Among patients with sepsis or septic shock, the combination of hydrocortisone, vitamin C, and thiamine did not reduce mortality compared with placebo.

    Trial Registry; No.: NCT03258684; URL:

    Link to Article

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