The effect of L-carnitine on wound healing by secondary intention in an animal model

Koybasi S., YILMAZ T.

Wounds, vol.17, no.3, pp.62-66, 2005 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 17 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Journal Name: Wounds
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.62-66
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Objectives: L-carnitine [(CH3)3-N-CH 2-CHOH-CH2-COO-] is an amino acid derivative found in high energy demanding tissues. It plays an active role under low oxygen conditions. The authors studied the effect of L-carnitine on wound healing by secondary intention on full-thickness surgical skin defects in an animal model. Materials and Methods: Twenty-two Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 2 groups. A 4-cm diameter circular full-thickness surgical skin defect was created on the dorsum of each rat and was left to heal by secondary intention. L-carnitine was given intraperitoneally at a dose of 100mg/kg once daily to the study group for 10 days. The control group was injected intraperitoneally with saline (0.09% NaCl) only. On the 11th day, the skin defects were traced on a transparent sheet, and the unhealed areas were measured using planimetry. Results: The areas of skin defects measured at the end of the study were not significantly different between the 2 groups (p>0.05). On the 11th day, the median of the defect area of the study group was 2.7cm2, whereas that of the control group was 3.4cm2. Conclusion: Although there was a tendency toward faster healing in the group receiving the drug, L-carnitine was not shown to significantly promote wound healing by secondary intention in an animal model. Further studies using different models, dosages, and durations of treatment are necessary to elucidate any possible effect.