The Kurume Medical Journal
Online ISSN : 1881-2090
Print ISSN : 0023-5679
ISSN-L : 0023-5679
Kinetics of Serum Carnitine Fractions in Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease Not on Dialysis
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JOURNALS FREE ACCESS Advance online publication

Article ID: MS663001


Summary: Background: Carnitine plays a pivotal role in energy synthesis through β-oxidation in mitochondria. Serum and tissue levels of free carnitine are significantly decreased in dialysis patients, whereas acylcarnitine levels are increased. However, the precise kinetics and fate of carnitine fractions in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients who are not on dialysis have not been clarified. This study aims to determine the kinetics of serum carnitine fractions in patients who were not on dialysis.

Methods: Seventy-five CKD patients not on dialysis were recruited in this study. Serum and urinary carnitine fraction levels were measured to evaluate the kinetics and regulation of serum carnitine fractions. Carnitine fractions were measured by the enzymatic cycling method.

Results: Total and free serum carnitine levels did not change with progression of CKD, whereas acylcarnitine levels and the acyl/free carnitine ratio significantly increased. Serum acylcarnitine levels were inversely associated with estimated glomerular filtration rate (r2 = 0.239, p < 0.001), but free carnitine levels were not. Serum free carnitine levels were positively associated with urinary free carnitine excretion (r2 = 0.214, p < 0.001), but serum acylcarnitine levels were not. Multiple stepwise regression analysis revealed that urinary free carnitine excretion and blood urea nitrogen were independent determinants of serum free carnitine and acylcarnitine levels, respectively.

Conclusions: The present study demonstrated that serum acylcarnitine levels increased with renal dysfunction independent of urinary excretion levels. Serum free carnitine was not affected by renal function in CKD patients who were not on dialysis.

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