Hyperlipidemia (HL), particularly elevated triglycerides (TG) is frequently seen in uremic patients undergoing dialysis. Carnitine plays an important role in the utilization of fatty acids and, being a small molecule, its possible losses in dialysis effluent may be a contributing factor to HL. We studied simultaneous concentrations of free carnitine (FC) and total carnitine (TC) in plasma (pre and post HD) and dialysis effluent in 9 HD patients (x̄ age: 18 years) and 5 CAPD patients (x̄ age 10 years). Serum TG were determined in all patients. Results (x̄ ± SD) are summarized in the table (†p <0.01 compared to controls).
These results demonstrate: 1) significant removal of TC during dialysis (greater on HD than CAPD), but maintenance of normal plasma TC levels; 2) significant decrease of plasma FC and TC immediately following HD and 3) HL with significant elevation of TG in both groups. It is suggested that cumulative TG losses during dialysis may aggravate HL in these patients.