Dissident AIDS Database

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L-carnitine deficiency in AIDS patients.
 De Simone C, Tzantzoglou S, Jirillo E, Marzo A, Vullo V, Martelli EA.
  To evaluate carnitine (3-hydroxy-4-N-trimethyl-ammoniobutanoate) deficiency in AIDS patients by measuring serum total, free and short-chain carnitine concentrations. We conducted an open study. All patients were seen at the Infectious Diseases Clinic, Universita 'La Sapienza', Rome, Italy. Twenty-nine AIDS patients, aged 27-41 years, with a previous history of drug use; and 14 healthy age- and sex-matched controls were studied. Study subjects were administered 500-800 mg zidovudine daily for 2 to 28 months (8 +/- 6 months). Carnitine deficiency was suspected in study participants prior to data collection because of previously reported cardiac symptoms, muscle weakness, hypometabolism and/or cachexia. A marked decrease in total and free carnitine was observed in 21 (72%) subjects. Nine of these patients also had low levels of short-chain carnitine. AIDS patients may become carnitine-depleted and therefore at risk for alterations in fatty-acid oxidation and energy supply.
  AIDS. 1992 Feb;6(2):203-51992