Abstract Title:

Use of carnitine therapy in selected cases of male factor infertility: a double-blind crossover trial.

Abstract Source:

Fertil Steril. 2003 Feb;79(2):292-300. PMID: 12568837

Abstract Author(s):

Andrea Lenzi, Francesco Lombardo, Paolo Sgrò, Pietro Salacone, Luisa Caponecchia, Franco Dondero, Loredana Gandini

Article Affiliation:

Outpatient Department and Laboratory of Seminology and Reproductive Immunology at the Training Center in Andrology of the European Academy of Andrology, Rome, Italy. [email protected]


OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficacy of L-carnitine therapy in selected cases of male factor infertility. DESIGN: Placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover trial. SETTING: University tertiary referral center. PATIENT(S): One hundred infertile patients (ages 20-40 years) with the following baseline sperm selection criteria: concentration, 10-20 x 10(6)/mL; total motility, 10%-30%; forward motility,<15%; atypical forms,<70%; velocity, 10-30 micro/s; linearity,<4. Eighty-six patients completed the study. INTERVENTION(S): Patients underwent L-carnitine therapy 2 g/day or placebo; the study design was 2 months of washout, 2 months of therapy/placebo, 2 months of washout, and 2 months placebo/therapy. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Variation in sperm parameters used in the patients selection criteria, in particular, sperm motility. Excluding outliers, a statistically significant improvement in semen quality, greater than after the placebo cycle, was seen after the L-carnitine therapy for sperm concentration and total and forward sperm motility. The increase in forward sperm motility was more significant in those patients with lower initial values, i.e.,<5 x 10(6) or<2 x 10(6) of forward motile sperm/ejaculate or sperm/mL. CONCLUSION(S): Based on a controlled study of efficacy, L-carnitine therapy was effective in increasing semen quality, especially in groups with lower baseline levels. However, these results need to be confirmed by larger clinical trials and in vitro studies.

Study Type : Human Study

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