Ascorbic Acid in the Acute Care Setting

Christian Kressin, Komal Pandya, Barbara Magnuson Woodward, Chris Donaldson, Alexander H. Flannery

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Ascorbic acid (AA) is an essential nutrient with many physiologic roles not limited to the prevention of scurvy. Beyond its role as a supplement, it has gained popularity in the acute care setting as an inexpensive medication for a variety of conditions. Because of limitations with absorption of oral formulations and reduced serum concentrations observed in acute illness, intravenous (IV) administration, and higher doses, may be needed to produce the desired serum concentrations for a particular indication. Following a PubMed search, we reviewed published studies relevant to AA in the acute care setting and summarized the results in a narrative review. In the acute care setting, AA may be used for improved wound healing, improved organ function in sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome, faster resolution of vasoplegic shock after cardiac surgery, reduction of resuscitative fluids in severe burn injury, and as an adjunctive analgesic, among other uses. Each indication differs in its level of evidence supporting exogenous administration of AA, but overall, AA was not commonly associated with adverse effects in the identified studies. Use of AA remains an active area of clinical investigation for various indications in the acute care patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)874-881
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition


  • adult
  • burns
  • critical care
  • pulmonary disease
  • sepsis
  • vitamins
  • wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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