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Effects of L-carnitine supplemented total parenteral nutrition on lipid and energy metabolism in postoperative stress.
Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
During episodes of trauma carnitine-free total parenteral nutrition (TPN) may result in a reduction of the total body carnitine pool, leading to a diminished rate of fat oxidation. Sixteen patients undergoing esophagectomy were divided randomly in two equal isonitrogenous groups (0.2 g/kg.day). Both received TPN (35 kcal/kg.day; equally provided as long-chain triglycerides and glucose) over 11 days without (group A) and with (group B) L-carnitine supplementation (12 mg/kg.day = 75 mumol/kg.day). Compared with healthy controls, the total body carnitine pool prior to the operation was significantly reduced in both groups, suggesting a state of semistarvation and muscle wasting. In group A the plasma levels of total carnitine and its subfractions (free carnitine, short- and long-chain acylcarnitine) remained stable during the study whereas in group B the total plasma carnitine concentration rose mainly due to an increase in free carnitine. In group A the cumulative urinary carnitine losses were 11.5 +/- 2.6 mmol (= 15.5 +/- 3.1% of the estimated total body carnitine pool). In group B 3.1 +/- 1.9 mmol (= 11.1 +/- 7.6%) of the infused carnitine was retained in the immediate postoperative phase until day 6, but this amount was completely lost at completion of the study period. No significant differences in the respiratory quotient or in the plasma levels of triglycerides, free fatty acids, and ketone bodies were observed, between or within the groups, before the operation and after 11 days of treatment. It is concluded that the usefulness of carnitine supplementation during postoperative TPN was not apparent in the present patient material.
Adult, Calorimetry, Carnitine/blood, Carnitine/pharmacology, Energy Metabolism, Female, Glucagon/metabolism, Humans, Lipid Metabolism, Lipids/blood, Male, Nitrogen/metabolism, Nitrogen/urine, Parenteral Nutrition, Total, Postoperative Complications, Stress, Physiological/etiology, Stress, Physiological/metabolism
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