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We aimed to investigate the relationship between dorsal flap viability and serum fibronectin levels in carnitine-administered rats. A total of 24 rats were equally divided into three groups and operated on. Group 1 (sham group n = 8): following surgery, no agent was given. Group 2 (control group, n = 8): following surgery, sterile saline solution at 0·9% with a dose of 100 mg/kg per day for 7 days was administered intraperitoneally. Group 3 (study group, n = 8): following surgery, carnitine with a dose of 100 mg/kg per day for 7 days was administered intraperitoneally. The flap model used was a 10 × 3 cm dorsal flap extending from the tip of the scapula to the hip joint. This was elevated, and then sutured back to its original site. At the end of postoperative day 8, the animals were anaesthetised and blood samples were collected from intracardiac space. Then, the animals were euthanised. Flap viability was then evaluated measuring the surviving area, using a transparent graph paper. Finally, excised tissue was examined histopathologically. The percentages of viable areas in groups 1, 2 and 3 were 64·68 ± 3·37%, 67·35 ± 5·82% and 75·15 ± 3·56%, respectively. The mean value of fibronectin levels in groups 1, 2 and 3 were 22·3 ± 3·5, 23·1 ± 3·5 and 31 ± 6·8 mg/dl, respectively. The results of this study demonstrated that 100 mg/kg carnitine administration led to an increase in flap viability, and increased serum fibronectin levels might have a role in this process.