To test the hypothesis that carnitine is decreased in the myocardial tissue of patients with end-stage congestive heart failure (CHF), left ventricular myocardial carnitine was measured in 51 patients undergoing orthotopic cardiac transplantation. The study group included patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease, myocarditis and rheumatic heart disease. Myocardial carnitine varied in different cardiac chambers. In normal control hearts, the left and right ventricular total carnitine was similar, but the ventricles had higher levels than the atria (p < 0.005); in 30 hearts in CHF, the left ventricular total carnitine was higher than in the right ventricle (p < 0.001) and both ventricles had higher total carnitine than the atria (p < 0.005). Only 7 of 51 patients with CHF had low myocardial carnitine, whereas plasma carnitine was elevated in all diagnostic groups of end-stage CHF studied.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
From the Ray and Hattie Anderson Center for the Study of Hereditary Cardiac Disease,t he Departments of Pediatrics, Medicine and Surgery, University of Minnesota, Veterans Administration Medical Center, and Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation,M inneapolis, Minnesota. This study was supported in part by the American Heart Association, Minnesota Affiliate, the Vikings Children’s Fund, the Minnesota Medical Foundation and the Variety Club Association,M inneapolis, Minnesota. Manuscript receivedJ anuary 23,1989; revisedm anuscript receiveda nd acceptedA pril 3,1989.