Raised homocystein plasma concentration in patients with Heart Failure: clinical significance
AbstractElevated plasma levels of homocysteine is associated with increased risk of thrombotic and atherosclerotic vascular disease. Several studies have demonstrated that hyperhomocysteinemia is an indipendent risk factor for vascular disease and is associated to heart failure. However there are no data regarding the association between homocysteine and various objective as well as subjective measures of heart failure. We hypothesized that plasma homocysteine is associated with clinical and echocardiographic signs of heart failure. On this ground we have analysed levels of homocysteine in patients with heart failure and possible correlation between these levels and clinical-functional pattern (NYHA class and ejection fraction). Methods: Plasma homocysteine levels were determined in 123 patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (59 males, 64 females, mean age 67Â±10 years, mean EF 31Â±11% and mean NYHA 2.4Â±0.9, 47 idiopatic and 76 postischemic cardiomyopathy) and 85 healthy control subjects (homogeneus group for sex and age). Patients with chronic renal failure, vitamin B12 and folate deficiency or factors affecting homocysteine plasma levels were escluded from this study. Homocysteine levels were determined in coded plasma samples by immunoenzimatic methods. Results: Patients with heart failure had a higher homocysteine level (mcg/L) than control subjects (21.72Â±10.28 vs 12.9Â±6.86, p<0,001) both postischemic (20.89Â±9.6 vs 12.9Â±6.86, p<0,001) and idiopatic cardiomiopathy (23.0Â±11.2 vs 12.9Â±6.86, p<0,001). A significant correlation was observed between homocysteine and NYHA functional class (p<0,001), age (p<0,001), creatinine (p<0,001), colesterol (p<0,05) while no correlations were observed with hemodynamic (HR, BP), functional (ejection fraction) and other metabolic parameters (triglycerides). Serum homocysteine was lowest in control and increased with increasing NYHA class. In idiopatic cardiomiopathy the correlation between homocysteine and NYHA functional class, creatinine (p<0,001), fibrinogen (p<0,05) was confirmed; in postischemic cardiomiopathy a significant correlation with creatinine and NYHA class (p<0,001) and with triglycerides (p<0,05) was also found. Conclusion: Plasma homocysteine was directly related to NYHA class. This observation may underline the strong relations of plasma homocysteine to congestive heart failure. Further research is indicated to evaluate a causal or noncausal mechanism for this association.
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