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Effects of Oral L-Carnitine on Cardiac Abnormalities of Maintenance Hemodialysis Patients

Hamid T. Khosroshahi, Bahlol Habibi-Asl, Merhrnosh Toufan, Kamyar Ghabili, Samad Safarpour


Hemodialysis patients have many risk factors for heart diseases, and cardiac dysfunction is the major cause of mortality and morbidity in these patients. This study aimed at evaluating the effects of exogenous L-carnitine on the cardiac abnormalities of hemodialysis patients. Twelve chronic hemodialysis patients were placed on L-carnitine (500 mg/day orally) for a period of 6 months. Cardiac symptoms, signs and conventional echocardiographic findings (left ventricular ejection fraction, left ventricular mass and left ventricular end-diastolic, and end-systolic volumes) were recorded during this period. Our results showed that L-carnitine supplementation was associated with an improved cardiac function in chronic hemodialysis patients without significant changes in the left ventricular mass or end-diastolic volume. However, a significant increase in the left ventricular ejection fraction was noted in the patients with congestive heart disease. We conclude that L-carnitine supplementation may improve subjective and objective manifestations of cardiac dysfunction in chronic hemodialysis patients, and a larger study is needed to further validate the results.

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