A randomized, controlled trial of creatine monohydrate in patients with mitochondrial cytopathies

Muscle Nerve. 1997 Dec;20(12):1502-9. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-4598(199712)20:12<1502::aid-mus4>3.0.co;2-c.


Fatigue in patients with mitochondrial cytopathies is associated with decreased basal and postactivity muscle phosphocreatine (PCr). Creatine monohydrate supplementation has been shown to increase muscle PCr and high-intensity power output in healthy subjects. We studied the effects of creatine monohydrate administration (5 g PO b.i.d. x 14 days --> 2 g PO b.i.d. x 7 days) in 7 mitochondrial cytopathy patients using a randomized, crossover design. Measurements included: activities of daily living (visual analog scale); ischemic isometric handgrip strength (1 min); basal and postischemic exercise lactate; evoked and voluntary contraction strength of the dorsiflexors; nonischemic, isometric, dorsiflexion torque (NIDFT, 2 min); and aerobic cycle ergometry with pre- and post-lactate measurements. Creatine treatment resulted in significantly (P < 0.05) increased handgrip strength, NIDFT, and postexercise lactate, with no changes in the other measured variables. We concluded that creatine monohydrate increased the strength of high-intensity anaerobic and aerobic type activities in patients with mitochondrial cytopathies but had no apparent effects upon lower intensity aerobic activities.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Creatine / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Forearm / blood supply
  • Hand Strength
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitochondrial Myopathies / drug therapy*
  • Walking / physiology


  • Lactic Acid
  • Creatine