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March 1973

Serum Carnitine: An Index of Muscle Destruction in Man

Author Affiliations

From the Spiller Neurological Unit, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia General Hospital, Philadelphia.

Arch Neurol. 1973;28(3):186-190. doi:10.1001/archneur.1973.00490210066009

Carnitine was identified as a constituent of normal human serum by reaction with a specific enzyme and by thin-layer chromatography. A spectrophotometric enzymatic assay was adapted for use with human serum, based upon the liberation of coenzyme A from acetylcoenzyme A in the presence of carnitine and carnitine acetyltransferase. Normal human serum contains 2.3μmols to 7.0μmols/100ml. Serum content increased to 33.4μmols/100 ml during attacks of myoglobinuria but was not increased in patients with Duchenne dystrophy, liver disease, uremia, or acute myocardial infarction.

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