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Abstract #1136

Is Free Carnitine Visible in 1H-MR Spectra of Skeletal Muscle?

Andreas Boss1, Roland Kreis1, Pierre Saillen1, Chris Boesch1, Peter Vermathen1

1Department of Clinical Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland

The exercise-induced production of intramyocellular acetylcarnitine is mirrored by decreased free carnitine. In 1H MR-spectra of muscle it was observed that trimethylammonium, supposedly with contributions from both, acetylcarnitine and carnitine, was increased after exercise. We applied spectroscopic imaging in 8 runners (calf) and 8 cyclists (thigh) and found that the change of trimethylammonium was significantly correlated with the exercise-induced production of acetylcarnitine in calf (R2=0.55, p<0.001) and thigh (R2=0.27, p<0.001). The present results suggest that the increase of trimethylammonium resulted at least partly from acetylcarnitine production and, hence, that free carnitine is largely invisible in 1H MR-spectra of the muscle.