Levocarnitine therapy may improve cardiac function and reduce left ventricular mass index in hemodialysis (HD) patients with carnitine deficiency and left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), according to a recently published study.

In a prospective, open-label study, Terumi Higuchi, MD, PhD, of Keiai Hospital in Tokyo, and colleagues analyzed 148 HD patients randomly assigned to receive oral levocarnitine at a dose of 20 mg/kg/day for 12 months (75 patients) or to a control group (73 patients). The levocarnitine group experienced a 5.43% increase in ejection fraction from baseline to the end of the study, whereas the control group had a 0.14% decrease, a between-group difference of 5.57%, the researchers reported online ahead of print in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases. Left ventricular mass index decreased by 8.89 g/m2 from baseline to the end of the study in the levocarnitine group, but increased by 1.62 g/m2 in the control group, a between-group difference of 10.50 g/m2.