Renal Failure (Oct 2018)

Kinetics of carnitine concentration after switching from oral administration to intravenous injection in hemodialysis patients

  • Anna Suzuki,
  • Yukinao Sakai,
  • Kazumasa Hashimoto,
  • Hirokazu Osawa,
  • Shuichi Tsuruoka

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 40, no. 1
pp. 196 – 200


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Carnitine has high dialyzability and is often deficient in dialysis patients. This deficiency is treated by either intravenous (IV) or oral supplementation of carnitine. In this study, the mode of carnitine administration was changed from oral to IV in 17 hemodialysis (HD) patients, and the treatment was discontinued after 1 year. We found that the levels of total carnitine (TC), free-carnitine (FC), and acyl-carnitine (AC) significantly increased after 3 months of switching to IV administration (p < .05). After discontinuation of carnitine administration, the TC, FC, and AC levels decreased before dialysis. The average FC value was maintained at the normal levels until 9 months, but fell below the normal values when measured at the 12th month of discontinuation. In conclusion, carnitine was maintained at significantly high levels despite the smaller dose by IV infusion as compared with that by oral administration. We therefore suggest that our results be considered while determining both the carnitine administration route and the administration period in dialysis patients under clinical settings.