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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 504-514

Effects of pre-transplant L-carnitine supplementation on primary graft dysfunction in liver transplant recipients: a pilot, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial


1 Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, I.R. Iran
2 Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy;Liver Transplantation Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, I.R. Iran
3 Liver Transplantation Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, I.R. Iran
4 Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, I.R. Iran

Correspondence Address:
Simin Dashti-Khavidaki
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy;Liver Transplantation Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
I.R. Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1735-5362.272537

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Primary graft dysfunction (PGD) and non-function (PNF) happen in 8.7-24.7% and 0.9-7.2% of liver transplant recipients, respectively. These phenomena increase treatment cost and patients’ death. This study assessed the effect of L-carnitine supplementation on the incidences of PNF/PGD in liver transplant recipients. This randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial was performed on adult liver transplant recipients. Patients took L-carnitine syrup 500 mg three times daily or placebo from the time of including in transplant waiting list until the day of transplant surgery (median 14 days, 1-192 days). Thirty-three patients in L-carnitine and 39 patients in placebo group completed the study. Although not statistically significant, PNF and PGD happened less frequently among recipients in L-carnitine compared with placebo group (3% vs. 12.8% for PNF; 15.2% vs. 30.8% for PGD). Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase were lower in L-carnitine group at day 3 after transplantation. ALT declined more significantly within 48 h after transplantation in L-carnitine arm (median 120.50 vs. 79 IU/L; P = 0.03). One-month patients’ survival was significantly higher in L-carnitine versus placebo group (97% vs. 74.4%; P = 0.008). The rates of PNF and PGD in L-carnitine group were approximately one-fourth and one-half of placebo group respectively. One-month patients’ survival was higher in L-carnitine group.


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