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      Effect of L-Carnitine on Amino Acid Metabolism in Elderly Patients Undergoing Regular Hemodialysis

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          Introduction: Among patients regularly undergoing hemodialysis, hypocarnitinaemia often develops as a consequence of inadequate dietary intake, reduced synthesis in the body, and considerable losses during hemodialysis. Objectives: To evaluate the effects of L-carnitine supplementation on patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) who underwent hemodialysis. Methods: Thirty-one patients with ESKD, comprising 18 men and 13 women, with a median age of 72 (range 58–89) years, who underwent regular hemodialysis received treatment with L-carnitine for 1 year. The total and free carnitine, acylcarnitine, and amino acids (AA) levels before and after L-carnitine treatment were analyzed, and the blood biochemistry results and clinical profiles of the subjects were compared before and after treatment. Results: The median (interquartile range [IQR]) serum total and free carnitine and acylcarnitine levels significantly increased from 34.5 (28.2–44.3), 20.9 (15.8–27.6), and 14.1 (11.2–17.6) µmol/L, respectively to 407.4 (371.6–493.5), 270.2 (228.3–316.0), and 155.0 (136.1–168.5) µmol/L, respectively, after treatment (all p < 0.001). The median (IQR) blood valine, tyrosine, phenylalanine, and citrulline levels increased from 0.94 (0.80–1.09), 0.45 (0.39–0.55), 0.61 (0.56–0.79), and 1.04 (0.79–1.26) mg/dL, respectively to 1.24 (1.13–1.54), 0.76 (0.62–0.85), 0.90 (0.70–1.04), and 1.22 (0.92–1.39) mg/dL, respectively, following L-carnitine treatment ( p < 0.001, p < 0.001, p = 0.002, and p = 0.030, respectively); however, the median (IQR) blood arginine level decreased from 0.20 (0.13–0.24) to 0.09 (0.06–0.14) mg/dL after treatment ( p < 0.001). The median (IQR) percentage fractional shortening (41.5 vs. 41.9%; p = 0.012) and left ventricular ejection fraction (65.2 vs. 67.3%; p = 0.036) increased significantly following treatment. Conclusions: L-Carnitine increased the blood acylcarnitine levels, enhanced fatty acid metabolism, and affected AAs metabolism; this may be beneficial for energy production within the cardiac and skeletal muscles.

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          Author and article information

          Blood Purif
          Blood Purification
          S. Karger AG
          September 2020
          22 January 2020
          : 49
          : 5
          : 614-621
          aDepartment of Pediatrics, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan
          bDepartment of Nephrology, Saiseikai Kumamoto Hospital, Kumamoto, Japan
          cDepartment of Clinical Engineering, Saiseikai Kumamoto Hospital, Kumamoto, Japan
          Author notes
          *Shirou Matsumoto, Department of Pediatrics, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kumamoto University, 1-1-1 Honjo, Kumamoto 860-8556 (Japan), E-Mail
          505609 Blood Purif 2020;49:614–621
          © 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel

          Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

          Page count
          Figures: 3, Tables: 1, Pages: 8
          Critical Care Nephrology – Research Article


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