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A Study for the Normal Serum Carnitine Levelsand the Effect of Anticonvulsants on Serum Carnitine Levels in Pediatric Age

Journal of the Korean Pediatric Society 1996;39(10):1414-1421.
Published online October 15, 1996.
A Study for the Normal Serum Carnitine Levelsand the Effect of Anticonvulsants on Serum Carnitine Levels in Pediatric Age
Byeong Eui Kim, Heung Dong Kim, Churl Young Chung
Department of Pediatrics, Sanggye Paik Hospital, College of Medicine, InJe University, Seoul, Korea
소아에서 정상 혈청 카니틴(Carnitine)농도 및 항경련제가 혈청 카니틴 농도에 미치는 영향에 관한 연구
김병의, 김흥동, 정철영
인제대학교 의과대학 상계백병원 소아과학교실
Abstract
Purpose
: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of anticonvulsants on serum carnitine levels as well as normal serum carnitine levels.
Methods
: We measured the serum carnitine levels in 53 healthy children(34 males, 19 females) and 115 epileptic children(55 males, 60 females) receiving a various antiepileptic drugs. We assessed the effects of antiepileptic drugs on serum carnitine level together with a correlation between serum carnitine level and duration of treatment, and blood level of anticonvulsant.
Results
: 1. Carnitine levels in healthy children 1) There was a positive correlation between total and free carnitine serum levels and the age of the children. 2) The serum total carnitine levels were increased in age group over 5 years of age and serum free carnitine levels were increased in age group over 1 year of age as compared with those of between 1 month and 12 months age group. 2. Carnitine levels in epileptic children receiving anticonvulsants 1) The serum levels of total and free carnitine were significantly reduced in the patients with valproate monotherapy group, valproate polytherapy group, and polytherapy group without valproate as compared with the control group. 2) The reduction was more significant in the patients of valproate polytherapy group than in those of valproate monotherapy group. 3. There was a significant inverse correlation between the serum carnitine levels and the duration of the valproate treatment but not between serum carnitine levels and the blood level of valproate. 4. Carnitine deficiency was corrected in all cases after oral administration of L-carnitine( 50mg/kg/day).
Conclusion
: Carnitine deficiency may be suspected in patients taking valproate therapy and regular measurement of carnitine levels appears warranted in these patients. If carnitine deficiency is documented, the patient can be treated by oral carnitine supplementation.
Key Words: Carnitine, Anticonvulsant


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