Effect of acute administration of L-acetyl carnitine on cerebral blood flow in patients with chronic cerebral infarct


Postiglione A




Pharmacol Res


The effect of L-acetyl carnitine (L-AC) on cerebral blood flow (CBF) was evaluated in 20 patients with chronic cerebrovascular disease, who suffered an ischaemic stroke at least 6 months before the study. All patients performed a CT scan and were investigated with xenon-133 by brain dedicated single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT, Tomomatic 32, Medimatic Inc., Copenhagen). A single high dose (1.5 g) of L-acetyl carnitine was intravenously administered to 10 patients, while sodium acetate as placebo was injected to 10 other subjects. Cerebral blood flow (ml/min x 100 g) was evaluated before and 45 min after the injection. No changes were observed after placebo injection (43 +/- 12 ml/min x 100 g versus 43 +/- 10 ml/min x 100 g). CBF increased (from 42 +/- 9 ml/min x 100 g to 46 +/- 9, P less than 0.05) in both ipsilateral and contralateral hemisphere, the ischaemic area, but not in the stroke corresponding zone. It was concluded that L-acetyl carnitine at the i.v. dosage of 1.5 g acutely enhanced CBF in patients with chronic cerebral infarct.