High-dose versus standard-dose vitamin D supplementation in older adults with COVID-19 (COVIT-TRIAL): A multicenter, open-label, randomized controlled superiority trial.
PLoS medicine. 2022;19(5):e1003999
Plain language summary
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, mostly in older adults. The aim of this study was to test whether a single oral high-dose of cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) administered within 72 hours after the diagnosis of COVID-19 improves, compared to standard-dose cholecalciferol, the 14-day overall survival among at-risk older adults who are positive to COVID-19. This study is an investigator-initiated, multicentre, open-label, parallel group, intent-to-treat, randomised controlled superiority clinical trial which involves the collaboration of 9 medical centres. Eligible participants (n=260) were randomly assigned to receive a single oral dose of either 400,000 IU (n=130) or 50,000 IU (n=130) cholecalciferol on the day of inclusion. Results show: - reduced overall mortality at day 14. - that high-dose cholecalciferol was safe and did not result in more frequent adverse effects compared to the standard dose. - that some benefits were also found on the 14-day mortality due to COVID-19 as well as on the overall mortality between day 6 and day 14. - that there was no evidence that the single high-dose vitamin D3 administered early in COVID-19 provided any benefit on overall mortality for up to 28 days. Authors conclude that high-dose oral cholecalciferol supplementation is a simple, safe, and inexpensive treatment which may be of interest as an adjuvant to provide a bridge to recovery for at-risk older adults facing the emergence of immune escape variants.
BACKGROUND Vitamin D supplementation has been proposed as a treatment for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) based on experimental data and data from small and uncontrolled observational studies. The COvid19 and VITamin d TRIAL (COVIT-TRIAL) study was conducted to test whether a single oral high dose of cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) administered within 72 hours after the diagnosis of COVID-19 improves, compared to standard-dose cholecalciferol, the 14-day overall survival among at-risk older adults infected with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). METHODS AND FINDINGS This multicenter, randomized, controlled, open-label, superiority trial involved collaboration of 9 medical centers in France. Patients admitted to the hospital units or living in nursing homes adjacent to the investigator centers were eligible if they were ≥65 years, had SARS-CoV-2 infection of less than 3 days, and at least 1 COVID-19 worsening risk factor (among age ≥75 years, SpO2 ≤94%, or PaO2/FiO2 ≤300 mm Hg). Main noninclusion criteria were organ failure requiring ICU, SpO2 ≤92% despite 5 L/min oxygen, life expectancy <3 months, vitamin D supplementation >800 IU/day during the preceding month, and contraindications to vitamin D supplements. Eligible and consenting patients were randomly allocated to either a single oral high-dose (400,000 IU) or standard-dose (50,000 IU) cholecalciferol administered under medical supervision within 72 hours after the diagnosis of COVID-19. Participants and local study staff were not masked to the allocated treatment, but the Steering Committee and the Data and Safety Monitoring Board were masked to the randomization group and outcome data during the trial. The primary outcome was 14-day overall mortality. Between April 15 and December 17, 2020, of 1,207 patients who were assessed for eligibility in the COVIT-TRIAL study, 254 met eligibility criteria and formed the intention-to-treat population. The median age was 88 (IQR, 82 to 92) years, and 148 patients (58%) were women. Overall, 8 (6%) of 127 patients allocated to high-dose cholecalciferol, and 14 (11%) of 127 patients allocated to standard-dose cholecalciferol died within 14 days (adjusted hazard ratio = 0.39 [95% confidence interval [CI], 0.16 to 0.99], P = 0.049, after controlling for randomization strata [i.e., age, oxygen requirement, hospitalization, use of antibiotics, anti-infective drugs, and/or corticosteroids] and baseline imbalances in important prognostic factors [i.e., sex, ongoing cancers, profuse diarrhea, and delirium at baseline]). The number needed to treat for one person to benefit (NNTB) was 21 [NNTB 9 to ∞ to number needed to treat for one person to harm (NNTH) 46]. Apparent benefits were also found on 14-day mortality due to COVID-19 (7 (6%) deaths in high-dose group and 14 (11%) deaths in standard-dose group; adjusted hazard ratio = 0.33 [95% CI, 0.12 to 0.86], P = 0.02). The protective effect of the single oral high-dose administration was not sustained at 28 days (19 (15%) deaths in high-dose group and 21 (17%) deaths in standard-dose group; adjusted hazard ratio = 0.70 [95% CI, 0.36 to 1.36], P = 0.29). High-dose cholecalciferol did not result in more frequent adverse effects compared to the standard dose. The open-label design and limited study power are the main limitations of the study. CONCLUSIONS In this randomized controlled trial (RCT), we observed that the early administration of high-dose versus standard-dose vitamin D3 to at-risk older patients with COVID-19 improved overall mortality at day 14. The effect was no longer observed after 28 days. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04344041.
Vasculitis changes in COVID-19 survivors with persistent symptoms: an [18F]FDG-PET/CT study.
European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging. 2021;48(5):1460-1466
Plain language summary
The SARS-CoV-2 infection manifests with a broad spectrum of clinical patterns ranging from minimally or asymptomatic cases to mild illness, to severe infection, to critical disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the radiopharmaceutical, 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose ([18F]FDG), was able to demonstrate a persistent inflammatory process in the vascular epithelium or in any other site. The study included Covid-19 patients who recovered but complained of unexplained persisting symptoms for more than 30 days during the follow-up visits. The patients where divided into two groups; the long Covid and control group. Results indicate that although the total vascular score was similar in the two groups, the target-to-blood pool ratio was significantly higher in three vascular regions (thoracic aorta, right iliac artery, and femoral arteries) in the long Covid than in controls. Authors conclude that their findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 induces vascular inflammation, which may be responsible for persisting symptoms.
PURPOSE Several patients experience unexplained persistent symptoms after SARS-CoV-2 recovering. We aimed at evaluating if 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose ([18F]FDG) was able to demonstrate a persistent inflammatory process. METHODS Recovered adult COVID-19 patients, who complained unexplained persisting symptoms for more than 30 days during the follow-up visits, were invited to participate in the study. Patients fulfilling inclusion criteria were imaged by [18F]FDG positron emission tomography/computed tomography ([18F]FDG-PET/CT). Whole-body [18F]FDG-PET/CT, performed according to good clinical practice, was qualitatively (comparison with background/liver) and semi-quantitatively (target-to-blood pool ratio calculated as average SUVmax artery/average SUVmean inferior vena cava) analyzed. Negative follow-up [18F]FDG-PET/CT images of oncologic patients matched for age/sex served as controls. Mann-Whitney test was used to test differences between groups. SPSS version 26 was used for analyses. RESULTS Ten recovered SARS-CoV-2 patients (seven male and three females, median age 52 years, range 46-80) with persisting symptoms were enrolled in the study. Common findings at visual analysis were increased [18F]FDG uptake in bone marrow and blood vessels (8/10 and 6/10 cases, respectively). [18F]FDG uptake in bone marrow did not differ between cases and controls (p = 0.16). The total vascular score was similar in the two groups (p = 0.95). The target-to-blood pool ratio resulted higher in recovered SARS-CoV-2 patients than in controls. CONCLUSION Although the total vascular score was similar in the two groups, the target-to-blood pool ratio was significantly higher in three vascular regions (thoracic aorta, right iliac artery, and femoral arteries) in the recovered COVID-19 cohort than in controls, suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 induces vascular inflammation, which may be responsible for persisting symptoms.
Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes of Hospitalized and Critically Ill Children and Adolescents with Coronavirus Disease 2019 at a Tertiary Care Medical Center in New York City.
The Journal of pediatrics. 2020;223:14-19.e2
Plain language summary
Epidemiologic studies have consistently demonstrated that children are at lower risk of developing severe symptoms or critical illness compared with adults. The aim of this study was to describe the clinical profiles and risk factors for critical illness in hospitalised children and adolescents with COVID-19. The study is a retrospective review of 67 children aged between 1 month to 21 years with COVID-19 from a single tertiary care children’s hospital. Out of the 44 children who tested positive, 33 (72%) were admitted to the general paediatric medical unit and 13 (28%) to the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Results showed that patients admitted to the PICU were noted to have more severe symptoms and markers of inflammatory response. The most common symptoms at admission were cough (63%) and fever (60.9%). Of the 13 patients in the PICU, 8 (61.5%) were discharged home, and 4 (30.7%) patients remain hospitalized on ventilatory support at day 14. Authors conclude that their study showed a higher rate of PICU admission per hospitalization (28.2%), which they believe may be a reflection of a variety of social determinants that influence health outcomes.
OBJECTIVE To describe the clinical profiles and risk factors for critical illness in hospitalized children and adolescents with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). STUDY DESIGN Children 1 month to 21 years of age with COVID-19 from a single tertiary care children's hospital between March 15 and April 13, 2020 were included. Demographic and clinical data were collected. RESULTS In total, 67 children tested positive for COVID-19; 21 (31.3%) were managed as outpatients. Of 46 admitted patients, 33 (72%) were admitted to the general pediatric medical unit and 13 (28%) to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Obesity and asthma were highly prevalent but not significantly associated with PICU admission (P = .99). Admission to the PICU was significantly associated with higher C-reactive protein, procalcitonin, and pro-B type natriuretic peptide levels and platelet counts (P < .05 for all). Patients in the PICU were more likely to require high-flow nasal cannula (P = .0001) and were more likely to have received Remdesivir through compassionate release (P < .05). Severe sepsis and septic shock syndromes were observed in 7 (53.8%) patients in the PICU. Acute respiratory distress syndrome was observed in 10 (77%) PICU patients, 6 of whom (46.2%) required invasive mechanical ventilation for a median of 9 days. Of the 13 patients in the PICU, 8 (61.5%) were discharged home, and 4 (30.7%) patients remain hospitalized on ventilatory support at day 14. One patient died after withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy because of metastatic cancer. CONCLUSIONS We describe a higher than previously recognized rate of severe disease requiring PICU admission in pediatric patients admitted to the hospital with COVID-19.
Unusual Early Recovery of a Critical COVID-19 Patient After Administration of Intravenous Vitamin C.
The American journal of case reports. 2020;21:e925521
Plain language summary
Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) continues to spread globally and to date there are no proven treatments. Current treatment focuses on the management of the associated acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). There are many studies demonstrating that in severe sepsis and ARDS; Vitamin C reduces systemic inflammation, prevents lung damage, reduces the duration of mechanical ventilation (MV) and the length of intensive care unit (ICU) stay in patients. This is a case report where a critically ill patient received high-dose Vitamin C intravenous (IV) infusions and recovered. A 74 year-old woman with Covid-19, developed ARDS and septic shock. Usual medications were given. She needed MV and deteriorated rapidly. On Day 7 she was administered Vitamin C (11g per 24 hours as a continuous IV infusion). Her clinical condition improved slowly after this. In this case, high dose IV Vitamin C was associated with fewer days on mechanical intervention, a shorter ICU stay and earlier recovery. These results show the importance of further investigation of IV Vitamin C to assess its efficacy in critically ill Covid-19 patients requiring mechanical ventilation and ICU care.
BACKGROUND Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to spread, with confirmed cases now in more than 200 countries. Thus far there are no proven therapeutic options to treat COVID-19. We report a case of COVID-19 with acute respiratory distress syndrome who was treated with high-dose vitamin C infusion and was the first case to have early recovery from the disease at our institute. CASE REPORT A 74-year-old woman with no recent sick contacts or travel history presented with fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Her vital signs were normal except for oxygen saturation of 87% and bilateral rhonchi on lung auscultation. Chest radiography revealed air space opacity in the right upper lobe, suspicious for pneumonia. A nasopharyngeal swab for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 came back positive while the patient was in the airborne-isolation unit. Laboratory data showed lymphopenia and elevated lactate dehydrogenase, ferritin, and interleukin-6. The patient was initially started on oral hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. On day 6, she developed ARDS and septic shock, for which mechanical ventilation and pressor support were started, along with infusion of high-dose intravenous vitamin C. The patient improved clinically and was able to be taken off mechanical ventilation within 5 days. CONCLUSIONS This report highlights the potential benefits of high-dose intravenous vitamin C in critically ill COVID-19 patients in terms of rapid recovery and shortened length of mechanical ventilation and ICU stay. Further studies will elaborate on the efficacy of intravenous vitamin C in critically ill COVID-19.