The study, published in Neural Regeneration Research, measured levels of the sunshine vitamin in a small number of patients from a neurosurgical intensive care unit and investigated the possible relationships between vitamin D status and other factors such as infection and length of intensive care unit admission.
“Vitamin D deficiency in neurosurgical intensive care unit patients is an important issue,” said the researchers – led by Je Hoon Jeong from Soon Chun Hyang University Bucheon Hospital in South Korea.
“In this study, we found that vitamin D deficiency is linked to immunological status,” they explained – revealing that vitamin D status was linked to blood levels of immune cells and was also associated with the length of stay in hospital.
“As such, continuous monitoring and checking of vitamin D levels is very important in patients admitted to the neurosurgical intensive care unit,” said the authors – who suggested that supplementation with vitamin D “can help improve the immunological status of patients in the neurosurgical intensive care unit.”
Hoon Jeong and colleagues measured serum levels of vitamin D in 15 patients with clinically suspected infection and 10 patients with confirmed infection, who came from neurosurgical intensive care unit.
The team found that serum level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D - the primary circulating form of vitamin D - was significantly decreased in patients with suspected or confirmed infection after a 2-week neurosurgical intensive care unit hospitalization, while serum level of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D - the active form of vitamin D - was significantly decreased in patients after a 4-week neurosurgical intensive care unit hospitalization.
Analysis also revealed that white blood cell count and neutrophil percentage showed a tendency to increase, while vitamin D levels were simultaneously decreasing, said the authors.
“Vitamin D deficiency was present in neurosurgical intensive care unit patients and was more severe in cases of long-term hospitalization,” the team added.
“Vitamin D deficiency also correlated with long-term intensive care unit hospitalization, increasing the infectious disease rate in our research.”
Source: Neural Regeneration Research
Volume 8, Issue 16, doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1673-5374.2013.16.010
“Evaluation of vitamin D level in patients from neurosurgical intensive care unit”
Authors: Ho Jun Yi, Je Hoon Jeong, Eun-Sun Jin, et al