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Trial record 1 of 1 for:    NCT02117661
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Carnitine for the Treatment of Atherosclerosis. (ECoM)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT02117661
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : April 21, 2014
Last Update Posted : June 26, 2020
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Queen's University
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Dr. Amer Johri, Queen's University

Brief Summary:
Obesity is one of the main causes of the metabolic syndrome, a condition which is becoming more common in Canada and worldwide. Metabolic syndrome is a name for a group of heart disease risk factors that occur together: obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. These patients have a high risk of developing narrowing and blockages of blood vessels which occur when fat and cholesterol build up in the walls of blood vessels and form plaque. This is called atherosclerosis. Plaque buildup leads to stroke, heart attacks, and death. We do not understand the underlying mechanisms of the metabolic syndrome and we do not have a treatment for it. L-carnitine, a dietary supplement, has been shown to treat some components of the metabolic syndrome, but its benefit to reduce plaque in the blood vessels has never been studied. Recently there has been some controversy because a new study showed that L-carnitine could make heart disease worse in some patients. Our goal is to study whether supplementation with L-carnitine does in fact prevent or reduce buildup of plaque in blood vessels of patients with the metabolic syndrome. This novel therapy has the potential to decrease the burden of heart disease in obese and diabetic patients with the metabolic syndrome.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Metabolic Syndrome Dietary Supplement: L-carnitine capsules Dietary Supplement: Cellulose capsules Phase 2

Detailed Description:

Primary Question: Does L-carnitine (L-C) therapy slows down and/or regress atherosclerosis, as measured by total plaque volume (TPV) assessed by 3-dimensional (3D) carotid ultrasound in patients with metabolic syndrome? We hypothesize that L-C will regress atherosclerotic plaque formation.

To assess our primary outcome of L-C induced atherosclerosis regression, we anticipate a significant percent (%) difference in carotid total plaque volume (TPV) over six months of L-C treatment, compared to placebo. For our secondary outcome, we expect to show that L-C therapy compared to placebo, induces a reduction in the proportion of small-sized LDL and an increase in large LDL particles. As small dense LDL particles are more atherogenic than large buoyant ones, this would suggest a mechanism contributing to the atherosclerosis reduction induced by L-C therapy.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 177 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: ECoM Study: Effect of Carnitine Supplementation on Progression of Carotid Plaque in the Metabolic Syndrome.
Actual Study Start Date : January 2015
Actual Primary Completion Date : July 2017
Actual Study Completion Date : May 2019

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: L-carnitine capsules
2000 mg daily (2x 500 mg capsules twice a day - BID) for six months
Dietary Supplement: L-carnitine capsules
Other Names:
  • levocarnitine
  • carnitor

Placebo Comparator: Cellulose capsules
2x capsules twice a day - BID (4 total per day) for six months
Dietary Supplement: Cellulose capsules

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in carotid Total Plaque Volume [ Time Frame: Six months ]
    Carotid 3D ultrasound scan

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in LDL size profile [ Time Frame: Six months ]
    Blood test

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Study Population: Patients, followed in our clinics for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention, fulfilling diagnosis criteria for metabolic syndrome (MetS) will be recruited. Eligibility will require a 2 step process as described.

Inclusion Criteria:

STEP 1: Initial screening; BP, weight and fasting blood samples will be obtained.

  1. Men and women, >18 years, meeting the criteria for clinical diagnosis of MetS, according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) harmonized definition, where any 3 of the 5 following risk factors cut points constitutes a diagnosis of MetS:

    1. Elevated waist circumference: Population- and country-specific definitions; Health Canada recommends males 102 cm and women 88cm.
    2. Elevated triglycerides: 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L).
    3. Reduced HDL: 40 mg/dL (1.0 mmol/L) in males; 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) in females or treated.
    4. Elevated BP: Systolic 130 and/or diastolic 85 mm Hg or treated.
    5. Elevated fasting glucose: 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L), or HbA1c ≥6.2%, or treated.
  2. Willing to provide informed consent. STEP 2: Baseline plaque volume ≥50 mm3 by 3D US, to ensure sufficient detectable plaque. This will be measured after consent (at Step 1), but prior to randomization/enrolment (Step 2).

Exclusion criteria:

  1. Individuals who have had a change in statin and/or diabetes medication therapy or dosing in the last three months;
  2. Who are actively having an unstable arrhythmia, angina or heart attack (untreated and/or unstable patients): symptomatic heart failure (NYHA 2 or greater); renal failure (GFR <50 mL/min/1.73m2);
  3. Known severe abnormal blood biochemistries: Na <100 or >150 mmol/L, K <2 or >5 mmol/L, Total Serum Ca >3 mmol/L;
  4. Known severe liver disease: AST >100 U/L, ALT >80 U/L, or a diagnosis of cirrhosis (Child Pugh Class A to C);
  5. Known severe anemia: HgB <70 g/L;
  6. Have endocrine disorders, e.g. Cushing's disease, hyper- or hypo-thyroidism;
  7. Any condition expected to limit survival to less than six (6) months (ex. malignant tumor);
  8. A condition limiting adherence to study procedure (i.e. alcoholism, drug addiction, known poor adherence, severe mental disorder);
  9. Concomitant treatment with: anticonvulsants; L-C or derivatives; Acenocoumarol (Sintrom) and Warfarin (Coumadin) anticoagulants and vitamin K antagonists; >1g fish oil; and/or thyroid treatment;
  10. A seizure disorder or at risk of seizure (CNS mass or medications that lower seizure threshold); receiving treatments for cancer or HIV infection (secondary L-C deficiency);
  11. Currently pregnant or breastfeeding;
  12. A history of allergy or intolerance to L-C or derivatives;
  13. Vegetarians (do not eat animal flesh) due to potential for altered L-C metabolism;
  14. Patients who have had a carotid surgery (ie. endarterectomy (CEA) or stent) or who are scheduled to receive carotid surgery during the trial.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT02117661

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Canada, Ontario
Queen's University, Cardiovascular Imaging Network at Queen's (CINQ), Kingston General Hospital
Kingston, Ontario, Canada, K7L 3N6
Robarts Institute, Stroke Prevention & Atherosclerosis Research Centre (SPARC)
London, Ontario, Canada, N6G 2V2
Sponsors and Collaborators
Dr. Amer Johri
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Queen's University
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Principal Investigator: Amer M Johri, MD Queen's University
Principal Investigator: J.David Spence, MD Robarts Institute
Principal Investigator: Daren K Heyland, MD Queen's University
Additional Information:
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Responsible Party: Dr. Amer Johri, Assistant Professor, Queen's University Identifier: NCT02117661    
Other Study ID Numbers: L-Carnitine-01
First Posted: April 21, 2014    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: June 26, 2020
Last Verified: November 2018
Keywords provided by Dr. Amer Johri, Queen's University:
Metabolic syndrome
Coronary artery disease
Cardiovascular disease
Heart disease
Vascular disease
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Metabolic Syndrome
Pathologic Processes
Insulin Resistance
Glucose Metabolism Disorders
Metabolic Diseases
Arterial Occlusive Diseases
Vascular Diseases
Cardiovascular Diseases