Background/Aims: We aimed to determine the role of exogenous carnitine to prevent ischemia-reperfusion damage in liver tissue in experimental model. Methods: Rats were divided into four groups as Sham (SG), 30% Hepatectomy (HG), ischemia-reperfusion +30% hepatectomy (IRHG) and ischemia-reperfusion + 30% hepatectomy + carnitine (IRHCG). Serum AST, ALT and GGT levels have been determined in systemic blood samples (post-hepatic vena cava) and liver tissue and serum carnitine levels in blood samples from portal vein (pre-hepatic blood samples). Results: Serum carnitine levels were significantly higher in IRHCG compared to SG (P < 0.01). Each of the serum AST, ALT and GGT levels were statistically higher in HG, IRHG and IRHCG than SG (P < 0.001). While these values in IRHG were also higher than those in HG (P < 0.001), in IRHCG enzyme levels were significantly lower than IRHG (P < 0.001). Liver tissue damage was less in IRHCG than IRHG statistically (P < 0.001). Conclusions: This animal model implies that exogenous carnitine supplementation may be helpful in preventing free oxygen radical damage and inflammatory reactions in liver tissue. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.