Quality of life during and between hemodialysis treatments: role of L-carnitine supplementation.

Sloan RS, Kastan B, Rice SI, Sallee CW, Yuenger NJ, Smith B, Ward RA, Brier ME, Golper TA
Am J Kidney Dis. 1998 32 (2): 265-72

PMID: 9708611 · DOI:10.1053/ajkd.1998.v32.pm9708611

End-stage renal disease affects every aspect of a patient's life, including perception of health and quality of life. It is likely that a hemodialysis patient's perceptions of health-related quality of life directly influence compliance with medical, nursing, and nutritional prescriptions. Because L-carnitine supplementation is known to enhance muscle strength and energy in hemodialysis patients, we hypothesized that L-carnitine supplementation would enhance a hemodialysis patient's perception of health-related quality of life. To test this hypothesis, 1 g L-carnitine or placebo was administered orally to 101 patients immediately before and after every hemodialysis treatment for 6 months. To assess health-related quality of life from the patient's perspective, the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 instrument was administered before the study and at 1.5-month intervals for the duration of the study. In addition, a 10-item questionnaire designed to assess common intradialytic symptoms was administered at the end of each dialysis treatment. Other parameters analyzed included Kt/V(urea) and level of nutrition. In the 6-month group, oral L-carnitine supplementation had an early positive effect on general health (P < 0.02) and physical function (P < 0.03), but the perceived effect was not sustained throughout the 6 months of the study. In the 3-month group, L-carnitine supplementation improved vitality (P < 0.02) and general health (P < 0.01). There was no association between Kt/V(urea) and perceived health-related quality of life. Serum albumin concentration was directly correlated to how patients perceived the quality of their lives.

MeSH Terms (18)

Administration, Oral Adult Aged Aged, 80 and over Carnitine Diabetes Complications Female Health Status Humans Hypertension Kidney Failure, Chronic Male Middle Aged Muscle, Skeletal Quality of Life Renal Dialysis Surveys and Questionnaires Treatment Outcome

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