Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 41, Issue 11, pp 1961–1964 | Cite as

Understanding vitamin D deficiency in intensive care patients

  • Karin AmreinEmail author
  • Kenneth B. Christopher
  • J. Dayre McNally
Understanding the Disease


Vitamin D deficiency (VDD) is a well-established cause of musculoskeletal disease. Over the past few decades a growing body of literature has changed our understanding of vitamin D and proposed roles in infectious, immunologic, neurologic, cardiovascular, and respiratory disorders [1]. More recently VDD has been hypothesized as a modifiable risk factor for poor outcome in the hospitalized and specifically the ICU patient [1, 2, 3].

Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and risk factors in intensive care

Circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] is the accepted marker for evaluating vitamin D status. Although some controversy remains, there are generally accepted thresholds for defining vitamin D sufficiency (75 nmol/L), deficiency (50 nmol/L), and severe deficiency (30 nmol/L) [1]. Applying the 50 nmol/L threshold, ICUs worldwide have reported VDD rates ranging from 60 to 100 % [3, 4, 5, 6].

Critically ill patients arrive at ICU or become deficient thereafter for many reasons...


Critical Illness Health Resource Utilization Multicenter RCTs Nongenomic Pathway Initial Enteral 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Conflicts of interest

The authors report no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and ESICM 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karin Amrein
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kenneth B. Christopher
    • 2
  • J. Dayre McNally
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal MedicineMedical University of GrazGrazAustria
  2. 2.Renal Division, Brigham and Women’s HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Children’s Hospital of Eastern OntarioOttawaCanada

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