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Revista de Nutrição
Print version ISSN 1415-5273
BORGHI E SILVA, Audrey et al. Correlations among the levels of plasmatic L-carnitine, the nutritional status, and the ventilatory function in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Rev. Nutr. [online]. 2005, vol.18, n.3, pp. 349-356. ISSN 1415-5273. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-52732005000300007.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to evaluate the levels of free L-carnitine in the plasma, the nutritional condition, the pulmonary function, and the tolerance to exercising in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary Disease, in order to verify the correlations between body composition and L-carnitine levels in the plasma. METHODS: Forty patients between 66.2±9 years of age, with clinical diagnostics of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, were divided in two groups: G1, patients with body mass index of less than 20 kg/m2, and G2, with Body Mass Index of more than 20 kg/m2. There were evaluations of the spirometric variables; the exercise tolerance, through a six-minute walking test; the respiratory muscle strength; the body composition, through the bioelectric impedance; and the free L-carnitine levels in the plasma, through blood exams. RESULTS: The results showed lower values in G1 patients, for the spirometric variables (p<0.01), the respiratory muscle strength, and the L-carnitine levels; however, no difference between the groups was observed regarding the capability to perform low-intensity dynamic physical exercise. There were significant correlations between the fat percentages and the levels of L-carnitine in the plasma (r=0.3 and p<0.002); furthermore, in patients who presented body mass index less than 18kg/m2, this relationship was increased (r<0,73 with p<0,01). CONCLUSION: In patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the malnutrition is associated with damage of pulmonary function and reduction of respiratory muscle strength, as well as with lower levels of free plasmatic L-carnitine.
Keywords : body composition; malnutrition; pulmonary disease; chronic obstructive; electric impedance; L-carnitine.