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Acta Paediatr. 1992 Jan;81(1):79-81.

Carnitine deficiency: a possible cause of gastrointestinal dysmotility.

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Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.


An infant with delayed development and peripheral myopathy, nourished on a soy-based liquid diet deficient in carnitine, had gastrointestinal dysmotility manifested by postprandial vomiting, oral drooling, delayed gastric emptying and infrequent bowel movements. Oesophageal manometry showed a reduced lower oesophageal sphincter pressure for age with abnormal distal motility. Serum carnitine concentration was 9.9 mumol l-1. After dietary supplementation of carnitine the gastrointestinal symptoms resolved, oesophageal manometry returned to normal, and serum carnitine increased to 37.2 mumol l-1. Dietary carnitine deficiency in infancy may be a cause of smooth muscle dysmotility of the gastrointestinal tract.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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