Design: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial.
Setting: Three large UK university hospitals.
Patients: Seventy-nine adult patients undergoing elective esophagectomy were randomized.
Intervention: A single oral preoperative (3-14 days) dose of 7.5mg (300,000IU; 15mls) cholecalciferol or matched placebo.
Measurements and Main Results: Primary outcome was change in extravascular lung water index (EVLWI) at the end of esophagectomy. Secondary outcomes included PaO2:FiO2 ratio, development of lung injury, ventilator and organ-failure free days, 28 and 90 day survival, safety of cholecalciferol supplementation, plasma vitamin D status (25(OH)D, 1,25(OH)2D and vitamin D binding protein), pulmonary vascular permeability index (PVPI) and EVLWI day 1 postoperatively. An exploratory study measured biomarkers of alveolar-capillary inflammation and injury. Forty patients were randomized to cholecalciferol and 39 to placebo. There was no significant change in EVLWI at the end of the operation between treatment groups (placebo median 1.0[IQR 0.4 – 1.8] vs cholecalciferol median 0.4[IQR 0.4 – 1.2] ml/kg, p=0.059). Median PVPI values were significantly lower in the cholecalciferol treatment group (placebo 0.4[IQR 0 – 0.7] vs cholecalciferol 0.1[IQR -0.15 -0.35], p=0.027). Cholecalciferol treatment effectively increased 25(OH)D concentrations but surgery resulted in a decrease in 25(OH)D concentrations at day 3 in both arms. There was no difference in clinical outcomes.
Conclusions: High-dose preoperative treatment with oral cholecalciferol was effective at increasing 25(OH)D concentrations, and reduced changes in postoperative PVPI but not EVLWI.