Published online Dec 7, 2005. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v11.i45.7197
Revised: May 23, 2005
Accepted: May 24, 2005
Published online: December 7, 2005
AIM: To evaluate the influence of L-carnitine on mental conditions and ammonia effects on patients with hepatic encephalopathy (HE).
METHODS: One hundred and fifty patients (10 patients with alcoholism, 41 patients with hepatitis virus B infection, 78 patients with hepatitis C virus infection, 21 patients with cryptogenetic cirrhosis) meeting the inclusion criteria were randomized into group A receiving a 90-d treatment with L-carnitine (2 g twice a day) or into group B receiving placebo in double blind.
RESULTS: At the end of the study period, a significant decrease in NH4 fasting serum levels was found in patients with hepatic encephalopathy (P < 0.05) after the treatment with levocarnitine (LC). Significant differences were also found between symbol digit modalities test and block design in patients with hepatic encephalopathy (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Results of our study suggest an important protective effect of L-carnitine against ammonia-precipitated encephalopathy in cirrhotic patients.