Results of a single blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial to study the effect of intravenous L-carnitine supplementation on health-related quality of life in Indian patients on maintenance hemodialysis.
Scand J Infect Dis. 1997;29(5):491-3. PMID: 16679630
BACKGROUND: Carnitine insufficiency is responsible for various co-morbid conditions in maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) patients. L-carnitine supplementation is expected to improve the quality of life (QoL) of patients on MHD. AIMS: To study the effect of L-carnitine supplementation on QoL of Indian patients on MHD. SETTING AND DESIGN: This was a single (patient) blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted on patients on MHD attending hemodialysis unit of the study center. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty patients on MHD suffering from hemodialysis-related symptoms were randomly assigned to receive intravenous L-carnitine 20 mg/kg or placebo after every dialysis session for 8 weeks. SF36 (Short Form with 36 questions) score for QoL, laboratory investigations and dialysis related symptoms were recorded at baseline and after 8 weeks. Improvement in QoL, laboratory parameters and dialysis related symptoms in the two groups after 8 weeks was compared. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS USED: Depending on normality of data, unpaired T test or Mann Whitney U test was used for comparison of change (8 weeks-baseline) in SF36 scores and laboratory parameters observed in the two groups. RESULTS: L-carnitine supplementation increased total SF36 score by 18.29 +/- 12.71 (95% CI: 10.41 to 26) while placebo resulted in reduction in total SF36 score by 6.4 +/- 16.39 (95% CI: -16.59 to 3.73). L-carnitine also resulted in significant increase in hemoglobin and serum albumin and decrease in serum creatinine as compared to placebo. More patients were relieved of dialysis related symptoms in L-carnitine group. CONCLUSION: Intravenous L-carnitine supplementation improves QoL in patients on MHD.