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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 6274854, 11 pages
Review Article

Efficacy and Safety of L-Carnitine Treatment for Chronic Heart Failure: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

1Department of Cardiology, Shuguang Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
2Department of Cardiology, Yancheng Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Yancheng 224001, China
3Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, Fudan University, Shanghai 201508, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Hua Zhou; moc.361@mhauhuohz

Received 12 January 2017; Revised 19 March 2017; Accepted 22 March 2017; Published 13 April 2017

Academic Editor: Hai-Feng Pan

Copyright © 2017 Xiaolong Song et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Whether additional benefit can be achieved with the use of L-carnitine (L-C) in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) remains controversial. We therefore performed a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to evaluate the effects of L-C treatment in CHF patients. Methods. Pubmed, Ovid Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library databases, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) database, Wanfang database, Chinese Biomedical (CBM) database, and Chinese Science and Technology Periodicals database (VIP) until September 30, 2016, were identified. Studies that met the inclusion criteria were systematically evaluated by two reviewers independently. Results. 17 RCTs with 1625 CHF patients were included in this analysis. L-C treatment in CHF was associated with considerable improvement in overall efficacy (OR = 3.47, ), left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) (WMD: 4.14%, ), strike volume (SV) (WMD: 8.21 ml, ), cardiac output (CO) (WMD: 0.88 L/min, ), and E/A (WMD: 0.23, ). Moreover, treatment with L-C also resulted in significant decrease in serum levels of BNP (WMD: −124.60 pg/ml, ), serum levels of NT-proBNP (WMD: −510.36 pg/ml, ), LVESD (WMD: −4.06 mm, ), LVEDD (WMD: −4.79 mm, ), and LVESV (WMD: −20.16 ml, 95% CI: −35.65 to −4.67, ). However, there were no significant differences in all-cause mortality, 6-minute walk, and adverse events between L-C and control groups. Conclusions. L-C treatment is effective for CHF patients in improving clinical symptoms and cardiac functions, decreasing serum levels of BNP and NT-proBNP. And it has a good tolerance.