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Vol 11, No 2 (2005)
Research paper
Published online: 2005-05-19

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The usefulness of assessing the serum levels of homocysteine in diagnosis of atherosclerosis

Danuta Kokocińska, Lech Cierpka, Bogdan Chmiel, Marian Duraj, Robert Partyka, Szymon Cierpka, Jacek Kocot, Piotr Wieczorek
Acta Angiologica 2005;11(2):114-120.


Background. Cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of death in Poland. Homocystein has recently been added to the list of atherosclerosis risk factors. Homocystein is an amino acid, which contains sulphur. Homocysteine is toxic for the endothelium. The aim of the study was to assess the plasma levels of the homocysteine in patients with clinical symptoms of atherosclerosis.
Material and methods. Sixty-eight patients including 26 with lower extremities atherosclerosis, 10 after CABG, 10 with AMI, 15 with ischemic stroke, 4 with abdominal aortic aneurysm and 3 with renal artery obstruction were enrolled. Patients suffering from acute MI or stroke, kidney failure, autoimmune diseases and neoplasms were excluded from the investigation. Thirty healthy volunteers were the control group.
Results. Homocysteine levels in all patient groups were higher than in the control group except patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm. The highest homocysteine concentrations (29.2 ± 11.32 µmol/l; p < 0.001) were in patients after CABG.
Conclusions. homocysteine is an important, independent cardiovascular diseases risk factor and should be routinely examined for in patients with other risk factors.

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