Does left ventricular function improve with L-carnitine after acute myocardial infarction?

J Postgrad Med. Apr-Jun 1999;45(2):38-41.


A double blind randomized placebo controlled clinical trial was carried out to assess the efficacy and safety of L-carnitine in patients suffering from acute anterior wall myocardial infarction with respect to left ventricular function. Sixty patients (34 men, 26 women, mean age 56+11 yr.) with acute anterior wall myocardial infarction were randomized to placebo and L-carnitine. All the patients were given intravenous L-carnitine / placebo in the dose of 6gm/day for the first seven days followed by oral L-carnitine / placebo 3 gm/day in three divided doses for a period of three months. Echocardiography was performed for regional wall motion abnormality, left ventricular end systolic volume (ESV), end diastolic volume (EDV) and ejection fraction (EF) on admission, after seven days and after three months of the infarction. Forty-four patients completed the study. There were three deaths, two in the placebo and one in the L-carnitine group (p>0.05). Thirteen patients were lost to follow up. Echo parameters in both groups were comparable (p>0.05). The duration of chest pain prior to initiation of the I.V. L-carnitine was 7.5 + 5.2 hrs in the L-carnitine group and 7 + 4 hrs in the placebo group (p>0.05). There was no statistical difference in the EF, ESV and EDV on admission, at discharge and after three months in the L-carnitine and the placebo groups (p>0.05). No significant adverse effects were noted. L-carnitine, though a safe drug, does not affect the left ventricular function in patients with myocardial infarction.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carnitine / pharmacology*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology*
  • Ventricular Function, Left / drug effects*


  • Carnitine