World Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 60–62 | Cite as

Serum total and free carnitine levels in children with asthma

  • Suna Asilsoy
  • Özlem Bekem
  • Özkan Karaman
  • Nevin Uzuner
  • Salih Kavukçu
Clinical Summary



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


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.


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.


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.

Key words

asthma carnitine children 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Brass EP. Supplemental carnitine and exercise. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;72(2 Suppl):S618–623.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Borghi-Silva A, Baldissera V, Sampaio LM, Pires-DiLorenzo VA, Jamami M, Demonte A, et al. L-carnitine as an ergogenic aid for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease submitted to whole-body and respiratory muscle training programs. Braz J Med Biol Res 2006;39:465–474.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ahmad S. L-carnitine in dialysis patients. Semin Dial 2001;14:209–217.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kavukcu S, Turkmen M, Salman S, Onvural B, Oktay G, Karaman O, et al. The effects of L-carnitine on respiratory function tests in children undergoing chronic hemodialysis. Turk J Pediatr 1998;40:79–84.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    From the Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention, Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) 2007. (accessed October 15, 2008)
  6. 6.
    Smith SR, Baty JD, Hodge D 3rd. Validation of the pulmonary score: an asthma severity score for the children. Acad Emerg Med 2002;9:99–104.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Andreeva AV, Kutuzov MA, Voyno-Yasenetskaya TA. Regulation of surfactant secretion in alveolar type II cells. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 2007;293:L259–271.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ozturk MA, Gunes T, Koklu E, Erciyes A. Free carnitine levels in respiratory distress syndrome during the first week of life. Am J Perinatol 2006;23:445–449.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ackerman SJ, Kwatia MA, Doyle CB, Enhorning G. Hydrolysis of surfactant phospholipids catalyzed by phospholipase A2 and eosinophil lysophospholipases causes surfactant dysfunction: a mechanism for small airway closure in asthma. Chest 2003;123(3 Suppl):355S.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Torel Ergur A, Tanzer F, Cetinkaya O. Serum free carnitine levels in children with recurrent pulmonary infections. Acta Paediatr Jpn 1997;39:406–408.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Calvani M, Benatti P, Mancinelli A, D’Iddio S, Giordano V, Koverech A, et al. Carnitine replacement in endstage renal disease and hemodialysis. Ann N Y Acad Sci 2004;1033:52–66.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Uzuner N, Kavukcu S, Yilmaz O, Ozkal S, Islekel H, Karaman O, et al. The role of L-carnitine in treatment of a murine model of asthma. Acta Med Okayama 2002;56:295–301.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Huang SL, Pan WH. Dietary fats and asthma in teenagers: analyses of the first Nutrion and Health Survey in Taiwan (NAHSIT). Clin Exp Allergy 2001;31:1875–1880.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Yeh YF, Huang SL. Dietary cholesterol enhances pulmonary eosinophilic inflammation in murine model of asthma. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2001;125:329–334.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suna Asilsoy
    • 1
  • Özlem Bekem
    • 1
  • Özkan Karaman
    • 1
  • Nevin Uzuner
    • 1
  • Salih Kavukçu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsDokuz Eylül University Medical FacultyIzmirTurkey

Personalised recommendations