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Effects of Branched-Chain Amino Acids on Muscle Ammonia Metabolism in Patients With Cirrhosis and Healthy Subjects

Information source: University of Aarhus
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Liver Diseases; Hepatic Encephalopathy; Hepatic Insufficiency

Intervention: Branched chain amino acids (Dietary Supplement)

Phase: N/A

Status: Completed

Sponsored by: University of Aarhus

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Susanne Keiding, MD, Study Chair, Affiliation: PET Centre and Medical department V, Aarhus Sygehus, Aarhus University Hospital


The purpose of this study is to determine whether Branched chain Amino Acids enhances the uptake of ammonia in muscle tissue.

Clinical Details

Official title: Effects of Branched-Chain Amino Acids on Muscle Ammonia Metabolism in Patients With Cirrhosis and Healthy Subjects

Study design: Allocation: Non-Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Pharmacokinetics/Dynamics Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label

Primary outcome: arterial ammonia concentration

Secondary outcome: muscle ammonia metabolism

Detailed description: Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA; leucine, valine, isoleucine) are used to prevent hepatic encephalopathy in cirrhotic patients. The main effect of BCAAs is believed to take place in muscles where BCAAs provide carbon-skeletons for the TCA-cycle. This enhances the conversion of alfa-ketoglutarate to ammonia via glutamine. We intend to study the effect of oral administered BCAA on the metabolism of ammonia and amino acids across the leg-muscles by means of catheters inserted into the femoral artery (A) and vein (V). Muscle blood flow (F; L/min) will be determined by constant infusion of indocyanine green and indicator dilution principle. Arterial blood flow and A and V concentrations of ammonia and amino acids will be measured before an oral load of BCAA (0. 45 g BCAA/kg body weight) and after 1 and 3 hours. The metabolism of ammonia will also be estimated by means of 13N-NH3 PET scans. Hypothesis: BCAA increases the uptake of ammonia in muscle tissue and lowers arterial ammonia.


Minimum age: 35 Years. Maximum age: 70 Years. Gender(s): Both.


Inclusion Criteria:

- 18 patients with liver cirrhosis

- 6 healthy subjects age and sex matched

Exclusion Criteria:

- Non-treated diabetes

- Pregnancy/breast-feeding

Locations and Contacts

Additional Information

Starting date: November 2007
Last updated: September 14, 2009

Page last updated: August 23, 2015

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