Plasma homocyst(e)ine [H(e)] levels correlate with the prevalence of arterial occlusive diseases. Recently, transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) has been used to evaluate patients with atherosclerotic plaques in the thoracic aorta. The purpose of this study was to determine whether H(e) levels correlate with the degree of atherosclerotic plaque in the thoracic aorta (ATH) as seen on TEE. Maximum plaque areas for three locations in the thoracic aorta (arch, proximal descending, and distal descending) were measured with TEE in 156 patients. Maximum plaque areas for these locations were added to yield an estimate of ATH. ATH and H(e) levels, and levels of folic acid, vitamin B12, and pyridoxal 5'-phosphate were measured in a double-blind manner. Univariate analysis demonstrated a significant correlation of H(e) with ATH (r=0.3, p < 0.001). On multivariate analysis, H(e) was independently predictive of ATH (r for the model including H(e) was 0.63, p < 0.0001). Plasma H(e) levels are therefore significantly and independently correlated with the degree of atherosclerosis in the thoracic aorta.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine