ABSTRACT: The ketogenic diet (KD) provides ketones from the degradation of free fatty acids for energy metabolism. It is a therapeutic option for pharmacoresistant epilepsies. Carnitine is the carrier molecule that transports fatty acids across the mitochondrial membrane for degradation into ketones. The integrity of this transport system is a prerequisite for an adequate ketogenic response. For monitoring of tissue metabolism with KD, we used the sampling method of s.c. microdialysis (MD), which permits minimally invasive, frequent, and extensive metabolic monitoring independent of blood tests. By using this new method, we monitored changes in carnitine metabolism induced by KD, particularly in free carnitine (C0), acetylcarnitine (C2), and hydroxybutyrylcarnitine (C4OH). Correlation of microdialysate and tissue concentrations for carnitines in vitro was about 85%. Carnitine metabolism was monitored in seven children started on a KD for pharmacoresistant epilepsy after a conventional initial fasting period. Detected metabolic changes consisted of a slight decrease in s.c. C0 and a marked increase in C2/CO and C4OH/CO levels. The levels of s.c. C4OH strongly correlate with beta-hydroxybutyrate (beta-OHB) levels in plasma providing an additional parameter for the carnitine reserve of the body and reflect an optimal ketogenic energy supply. Subcutaneous MD allows close and extensive monitoring of metabolism with a KD.
Pediatric Research 08/2006; 60(1):93-6. · 2.70 Impact Factor
Annals of Neurology 09/2005; 58(2):341. · 11.09 Impact Factor
Annals of Neurology. 58(2005-2):341.