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Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Di Marzo L., Miccheli A.*, Sapienza P., Tedesco M., Mingoli A., Capuani G.*, Aureli T.*, Giuliani A.*, Conti F.*, Cavallaro A.
From the 1st Department of Surgery and * Department of Chemistry University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy
Background. Human and animal studies have shown that propionyl-L-carnitine, increasing carnitine content, improves the energy metabolism of ischemic skeletal muscle. The aim of the study was to evaluate the accuracy of Doppler continuous wave, Treadmill test and 31Phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy in determining the efficacy of propionyl-L-carnitine in patients with peripheral arterial disease.
Methods. Experimental design: Prospective study. Setting: University hospital. Patients: Eighteen male patients with peripheral arterial disease (category 3) and 8 healthy volunteers form the basis of the study. Patients quit smoking, start physical training (2-3 Km walk per day) and were assigned to medical therapy consisting of propionyl-L-carnitine (8 patients) or placebo (10 patients). Patients were studied with Doppler continuous wave, Treadmill test and 31Phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy at day 0 and at day 90. The following parameters were assessed by the principal component analysis: clinical (absolute claudication, ankle brachial index at rest and at 2, 5 and 10 minutes after completing Treadmill exercises) and biochemical (inorganic phosphorus/phosphocreatine ratio and pH profiles at 20% and 50% of the maximum load, the recovery half time of phosphocreatine, number of exercise steps and slope of linear relationship between muscle power and inorganic phosphorus/phosphocreatine ratio).
Results. Final evaluation showed a significant improvement of clinical and biochemical variables (p<0.05 and p<0.02 respectively). Breaking down the results on the basis of the two study arms, 31Phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy showed a significant improvement of biochemical variables in the group of patients treated with propionyl-L-carnitine (p<0.05) and was more sensitive in the evaluation of changes induced by 90-day treatment as compared with the other noninvasive examinations.
Conclusions. 31P-MRS permits the evaluation of muscle metabolic effect induced by PLC after a 90-day-period in patients affected by category 3 of peripheral arterial disease and it is a more sensitive tool in the evaluation of the pharmacological effects of medical therapy.