Document Detail

Clinical effects of L-carnitine supplementation on apnea and growth in very low birth weight infants.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12612224     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: Systemic carnitine deficiency may present with apnea, hypotonia, and poor growth. Premature infants often manifest these symptoms and are at risk of developing carnitine deficiency because of immaturity of the biosynthetic pathway, lack of sufficient predelivery transplacental transport, and lack of sufficient exogenous supplementation. This study was undertaken to examine the effect of carnitine supplementation in premature infants. METHODS: Eighty preterm infants <1500 g were enrolled in a prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of carnitine supplementation within 96 hours of delivery. Growth, length of hospital stay, and frequency and severity of apnea were the primary outcome measures. RESULTS: Weight gain and change in length, fronto-occipital head circumference, mid arm circumference, and triceps skinfold thickness were similar between the carnitine-supplemented and placebo groups. The amount and severity of apnea and the overall length of hospitalization were also similar between the 2 groups. The carnitine levels in the supplemented group were significantly higher than in the placebo group at 4 and 8 weeks after study entry. CONCLUSION: Although preterm infants <1500 g have low carnitine levels, routine supplementation with carnitine has no demonstrable effect on growth, apnea, or length of hospitalization and thus seems to be unnecessary.
Jonathan Whitfield; Twyala Smith; Heather Sollohub; Lawrence Sweetman; Charles R Roe
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Clinical Trial; Controlled Clinical Trial; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Pediatrics     Volume:  111     ISSN:  1098-4275     ISO Abbreviation:  Pediatrics     Publication Date:  2003 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-03-03     Completed Date:  2003-06-02     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376422     Medline TA:  Pediatrics     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  477-82     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75246, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Apnea / therapy*
Asphyxia Neonatorum / therapy
Carnitine / blood*,  pharmacology,  therapeutic use*
Child Development / drug effects*,  physiology
Growth / drug effects*,  physiology
Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Very Low Birth Weight / blood*,  growth & development
Infusions, Intravenous
Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
Length of Stay
Parenteral Nutrition
Respiration, Artificial
Treatment Outcome
Reg. No./Substance:

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