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Am J Physiol. 1995 Oct;269(4 Pt 1):E649-56.

A new correction factor for use in tracer estimations of plasma fatty acid oxidation.

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  • 1Metabolism Unit, Shriners Burns Institute, Galveston, Texas 77550, USA.


The purpose of this study was to acquire a new correction factor for use in tracer estimations of plasma fatty acid oxidation that would fully account for label fixation during the infusion of fatty acid tracers. Thus volunteers were infused with 13C-labeled fatty acids and [1-14C]acetate in the basal state, during hyperinsulinemia-hyperglycemia (clamp), and during 1 h of cycling exercise. The fractional recovery of acetate label (i.e., the acetate correction factor) was 0.56 +/- 0.02, 0.50 +/- 0.03, and 0.80 +/- 0.03 in the basal state and during the clamp and exercise, respectively. Isotopically determined plasma fatty acid oxidation rates ( were 1.7 +/- 0.2, 0.8 +/- 0.2, and 6.4 +/- 0.5 (no correction); 2.1 +/- 0.2, 1.0 +/- 0.2, and 6.7 +/- 0.5 (bicarbonate correction); and 3.1 +/- 0.2, 1.5 +/- 0.2, and 8.2 +/- 0.4 (acetate correction). We conclude that use of the acetate correction factor in place of the bicarbonate correction factor should improve the accuracy of isotopic measurements of plasma fatty acid oxidation, because it accounts for label fixation that might occur at any step between the entrance of labeled acetyl-CoA into the tricarboxylic acid cycle until the recovery of label in breath CO2.

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