Since carnitine deficiency has been reported in some patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis, we studied the effects of intravenous infusion of L-carnitine or placebo at the end of each dialysis treatment. The trial, which lasted seven months (one month baseline, 6 months treatment) was multicenter, double blind, placebo controlled, and randomized. Eighty-two long-term hemodialysis patients, who were given either carnitine (N = 38) or placebo (N = 44), completed this study. In each group, clinical and biochemical parameters during treatment were compared with baseline values. Intra-dialytic hypotension and muscle cramps were reduced only in the carnitine treated group, while improvement in post-dialysis asthenia was noticed in both carnitine and placebo groups. Maximal oxygen consumption, measured during a progressive work exercise test, improved significantly in the carnitine group (111 +/- 50 ml/min. P less than 0.03) and was unchanged in the placebo group. L-carnitine treatment was associated with a significant drop in pre-dialysis concentrations of serum urea nitrogen, creatinine and phosphorus (means +/- SEM, 101 +/- 4.5 to 84 +/- 3.9, 16.7 +/- 0.67 to 14.7 +/- 0.64, and 6.4 +/- 0.3 to 5.5 +/- 0.4 mg/dl, respectively, P less than 0.004). No significant changes in any of these variables were noticed in the placebo group. Mid-arm circumference and triceps skinfold thickness were measured in 11 carnitine and 13 placebo treated patients. Calculated mid-arm muscle area increased in the carnitine patients (41.37 +/- 2.68 to 45.6 +/- 2.82 cm2, P = 0.05) and remained unchanged in the placebo patients.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
"El-Hennawy and Zaib (10) also reported reduction of cramps attack after vitamin E supplementation. The effects of L-carnitine on relieving muscle cramps are shown in various studies, as well (16, 17, 19). Khajedehi and colleagues (30) also reported better results in patients receiving vitamin E and combination of vitamin E and vitamin C in reducing muscle cramps. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The most common complications during dialysis are hypotension and muscle cramps. There are many strategies to prevent and treat these complications.
The aim of this study is to evaluate effects of vitamin E and L-carnitine supplementation alone and in combination on intradialytic complications.
In a prospective study, 20 patients with end stage renal disease on chronic hemodialysis that had intradialytic complications such as hypotension, muscle cramp, nausea, vomiting and headache were studied. These patients were studied in four 45 day periods, beginning with no treatment (step 1), receiving vitamin E (200 IU/d) (step 2), receiving L-carnitine (500 mg/d) (step 3) and their combination (step 4). Intradialytic complications were recorded in each step and compared between treatments.
All three treatments significantly reduced frequency of muscle cramps in comparison to baseline values. Vitamin E alone and in combination with L-carnitine reduced the frequency of muscle cramps more effectively. Hypotension was significantly lower in combination therapy in comparison to baseline values and vitamin E treatment.
Vitamin E and L-carnitine both have comparative effects on intradialytic complications. As the combination use of vitamin E and L-carnitine could more effectively reduce the intradialytic complications, it is recommended for daily use in hemodialysis patients.
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