The Journal of Tehran University Heart Center 2017. 12(2):57-64.

Nephroprotective Effects of L-Carnitine against Contrast-Induced Nephropathy in Patients Undergoing Percutaneous Coronary Intervention: A Randomized Open-Labeled Clinical Trial
Mohammad Mohammadi, Azita Hajhossein Talasaz, Mohammad Alidoosti, Hamid Reza Pour Hosseini, Kheirollah Gholami, Arash Jalali, Hamid Aryannejad


Background: L-carnitine may prevent the incidence of AKI by its antioxidant effects and improving circulation in ischemic conditions. The goal of this trial was to evaluate the impact of L-carnitine on contrast-induced nephropathy in patients undergoing elective PCI.

Methods: Totally, the patients were randomly allocated to 2 groups. The treatment group received 1 g of L-carnitine orally 3 times a day, 24 hours before the procedure (3 g before PCI) and 2 g after PCI, whereas the control group did not receive L-carnitine. In both groups, the plasma level of neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) was measured at baseline and 12 hours after PCI.

Results: Our study was conducted on 202 patients (including 91 vs. 111 patients in the treatment and the control group; 31 (34.1%) vs 33 (29.7%) female in carnitine and control group; and ages include 62.0 ± 9.0 vs 57.0 ± 11.2 years). The median plasma levels of NGAL were not different between the carnitine and control groups at baseline (57 [IQR: 22 – 255] vs. 54 [IQR: 29 – 324]; p value = 0.155) and 12 hours after PCI (71 [IQR: 52 – 129] vs. 70 [IQR: 46 – 153]; p value = 0.925), but the changes in the plasma NGAL from baseline to 12 hours after PCI were different between the 2 groups (5 [IQR:-147 – 30] vs. 17 [IQR: -21 – 41]; p value = 0.010).

Conclusion: Our results showed that oral L-carnitine was able to prevent an increase in NGAL following contrast medium administration in patients undergoing PCI. More studies should be performed to fully elucidate the nephroprotective effects of L-carnitine. 


Coronary artery disease • Angioplasty • Contrast medium • Acute kidney injury • Kidney diseases

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