Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 38, Issue 12, pp 2055–2062 | Cite as

Vitamin D status in critically ill children

  • Constance Rippel
  • Michael South
  • Warwick W. Butt
  • Lara S. Shekerdemian
Pediatric Original



Hypovitaminosis D is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, muscle weakness, impaired metabolism, immune dysfunction, and compromised lung function. Hypovitaminosis D is common in critically ill adults and has been associated with adverse outcomes. The prevalence of hypovitaminosis D and its significance in critically ill children are unclear.


We performed a prospective study to determine the prevalence of hypovitaminosis D in 316 critically ill children, and examined its association with physiological and biochemical variables, length of pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) stay, and hospital mortality.


The prevalence of hypovitaminosis D [25(OH)D3 <50 nmol/L] was 34.5 %. Hypovitaminosis D was more common in postoperative cardiac patients than in general medical ICU patients (40.5 versus 22.6 %, p = 0.002), and the cardiac patients had a higher inotrope score [2.5 (1.9–3.3) versus 1.4 (1.1–1.9), p = 0.006]. Additionally, ionized calcium within the first 24 h was lower in patients with 25(OH)D3 <50 nmol/L [1.07 (0.99–1.14) mmol/L] compared with patients with normal vitamin D3 [1.17 (1.14–1.19) mmol/L, p = 0.02]. Hypovitaminosis D was not associated with longer PICU stay or increased hospital mortality.


Hypovitaminosis D is common in critically ill children, and is associated with higher inotropes in the postoperative cardiac population, but not with PICU length of stay or hospital survival.


Pediatrics Perioperative care Cardiovascular issues in the ICU 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and ESICM 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Constance Rippel
    • 1
  • Michael South
    • 1
    • 2
  • Warwick W. Butt
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lara S. Shekerdemian
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Paediatric Intensive CareThe Royal Children’s Hospital, MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Department of PaediatricsUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  3. 3.Critical Care MedicineTexas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA

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