Hyperhomocysteinemia measured by immunoassay: A valid measure of coronary artery atherosclerosis

Michele T. Stauffenberg, Richard A. Lange, L. David Hillis, Joaquin Cigarroa, Rebecca M. Hsu, Sridevi Devaraj, Ishwarlal Jialal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Context. - Homocysteine is emerging as a novel marker of atherothrombosis. Its role as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease is generally accepted. There is scanty data correlating homocysteine levels measured by immunoassay with cardiovascular disease. We previously validated a fluorescence polarization immunoassay for measuring homocysteine, which compared favorably with high performance liquid chromatography. Objective. - To determine if homocysteine levels measured by immunoassay correlate with extent of atherosclerotic burden, as represented by degree of coronary artery stenosis determined by coronary angiography. Design. - Fasting plasma samples were obtained from patients undergoing coronary angiography (N = 165). Homocysteine levels were measured by immunoassay and coronary artery stenosis was determined by coronary angiography. Results. - Median coronary artery stenosis for the 3 homocysteine subgroups, less than 1.35, 1.35 to 6.75, and greater than 6.75 mg/L (<10, 10-15, and >15 μmol/L), was 75%, 90%, and 99%, respectively (P = .01 for trend). Also, folate and vitamin B12 levels decreased with increasing homocysteine levels (P = .01 and .04, respectively, for trend). Spearman's correlation showed a significant association between homocysteine level and coronary artery stenosis (r = 0.20; P = .009). When men and women were examined separately, the correlation was significant only for women (r = 0.30; P = .01). Conclusion. - Homocysteine levels, as measured by immunoassay, show a positive correlation with cardiovascular disease in women. Thus, this is a valid measure of atherosclerotic burden and, therefore, a reliable addition to the established laboratory repertoire for the assessment of cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1263-1266
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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