Background and Aim Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) is the most common cause of respiratory failure and requirement for mechanical ventilation (MV) of newborns. L-carnitine is essential for the processes underlying fetal maturation such as surfactant synthesis. This study aims to study the effect of early carnitine supplementation on respiratory, nutritional, hematological parameters in preterm neonates with respiratory distress syndrome.
Methods This study was conducted on 60 preterm infants 30–33 weeks of gestation presenting with RDS divided randomly into 2 groups: group A comprised 30 preterm infants who received I.V. L-carnitine at a dose of 30mg/Kg/day until oral intake was established; then it was given orally at the same dose, group B comprised 30 preterm infants who did not receive L-carnitine. Laboratory and radiological investigations were done to confirm RDS, to evaluate and to follow up growth pattern, hematological, and respiratory outcome in those neonates.
Results L-Carnitine supplementation resulted in significant increase in weight gain, decreased period of stay on mechanical ventilator and duration of hospital stay as well as improved discharge status in group A.
Conclusion L-carnitine could be routinely used for preterm neonates suffering from RDS to reduce the need of mechanical ventilation and oxygen requirements in addition to its role in growth. However its effects on hematological parameters should be traced in further research work.