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Eur Heart J. 1994 Sep;15(9):1267-73.

Efficacy of L-propionylcarnitine treatment in patients with left ventricular dysfunction.

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  • 1Universit√† degli Studi di Genova, Dipartimento di Medicina Interna, Italy.


The effect of L-propionylcarnitine on patients with left ventricular dysfunction (EF < 45%) NYHA class II, symptomatic despite therapy with digitalis and diuretics was evaluated in a phase II parallel, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Fifty patients (28 men and 22 women) aged 37-70 years received 1.5 g of L-propionylcarnitine or placebo on a random basis as oral treatment for 6 months. At baseline, during a 7 day placebo run-in period, and during the 6-month treatment bicycle exercise test, M-B mode and Doppler echocardiography, and clinical evaluation (clinical score) were repeatedly performed. The analysis of variance for repeated measurements showed a statistically significant difference (P < 0.01) in the mean value of exercise time between the treatments over the period of the study. There was a final increase of 0.36 min in the placebo group, 1.4 min in the treated group and a minor production of lactate during exercise in the treated group. Left ventricular shortening fraction and left ventricular ejection fraction showed a significant increase in the L-propionylcarnitine group (respectively P < 0.01 and P < 0.0001) whereas no difference was apparent in the placebo group. Stroke volume index and cardiac index showed significant increments in the treated group (P < 0.05) and systemic vascular resistance was lowered (P < 0.05). No haemodynamic variations were observed in the placebo group, and the clinical score showed a significant improvement in the L-propionylcarnitine treated group. In conclusion, L-propionylcarnitine treatment was shown to improve patient symptomatology and effort tolerance.

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