Serum levels of carnitine in chronic fatigue syndrome: Clinical correlates

A. V. Plioplys*, S. Plioplys

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Carnitine is essential for mitochondrial energy production. Disturbance in mitochondrial function may contribute to or cause the fatigue seen in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients. One previous investigation has reported decreased acylcarnitine levels in 38 CFS patients. We investigated 35 CFS patients (27 females and 8 males), our results indicate that CFS patients have statistically significantly lower serum total carnitine, free carnitine and acylcarnitine levels, not only lower acylcarnitine levels as previously reported. We also found a statistically significant correlation between serum levels of total and free carnitine and clinical symptomatology. Higher serum carnitine levels correlated with better functional capacity. These findings may be indicative of mitochondrial dysfunction, which may contribute to or cause symptoms of fatigue in CFS patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-138
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


  • Carnitine
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fatigue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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