, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 60-62
Date: 27 Jan 2009

Serum total and free carnitine levels in children with asthma

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Abstract

Background

Serum carnitine is decreased in recurrent pulmonary infections. We aimed to evaluate serum carnitine levels in asthmatic children.

Methods

Study group consisted of children with stable asthma and those with acute asthma attacks, while control group included healthy children. Attack severity was determined by the pulmonary score system. Total and free carnitine levels were studied in one blood sample from the control group and stable asthmatics and in two samples from children with acute asthma exacerbation during and after the attack.

Results

All the 40 patients in the study group had moderate asthma including 30 with acute attack (13 mild and 17 moderate) and 10 with stable asthma. Carnitine levels were significantly lower in acute attack asthmatics than in the stable asthmatics and controls, while there was no significant difference between the latter two groups. Carnitine levels were not different between asthmatics with mild and moderate attack, and were similar during and after an acute attack.

Conclusions

Serum carnitine levels decrease in children with moderate asthma during exacerbation of asthma and shortly thereafter. Further studies are needed to evaluate the effect of carnitine treatment on serum carnitine level.