Transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) is usually followed by hepatic dysfunction. We evaluated the effects of L-carnitine on
post-TACE impaired liver functions. Methods. 53 cirrhotic hepatocellular carcinoma patients at Osaka Medical College were
enrolled in this study and assigned into either L-carnitine group receiving 600mg oral L-carnitine daily or control group. Liver
functions were evaluated at pre-TACE and 1, 4, and 12 weeks after TACE. Results.The L-carnitine group maintained Child-Pugh (CP) score at 1 week after TACE and exhibited significant improvement at 4 weeks after TACE (𝑃 < 0.01). Conversely, the control group reported a significant CP score deterioration at 1 week (𝑃 < 0.05) and 12 weeks after TACE (𝑃 < 0.05). L-carnitine suppressed serum albumin deterioration at 1 week after TACE.There were significant differences between L-carnitine and control groups regarding mean serum albumin changes from baseline to 1 week (𝑃 < 0.05) and 4 weeks after TACE (𝑃 < 0.05). Lcarnitine caused prothrombin time improvement from baseline to 1, 4 (𝑃 < 0.05), and 12 weeks after TACE. Total bilirubin mean changes from baseline to 1 week after TACE exhibited significant differences between L-carnitine and control groups (𝑃 < 0.05).
The hepatoprotective effects of L-carnitine were enhanced by branched chain amino acids combination. Conclusion. L-carnitine maintained and improved liver functions after TACE.