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Keywords:

  • Cerebrovascular disease;
  • folate;
  • homocysteine;
  • pyridoxal 5-phosphate;
  • renal function

Abstract. Moderate hyperhomocysteinaemia is a frequent finding in atherothrombotic cerebrovascular disease. This study confirms and extends this observation. Hyperhomocysteinaemia was present in 57 of 142 survivors with stroke (40%) and in four of 66 controls (6%). Plasma homocysteine concentrations were increased not only in carotid artery disease or lacunar stroke but also in haemorrhagic or embolic strokes. Homocysteine values were unrelated to the presence of hypertension, smoking, or hypercholester-olaemia, or to the concentrations of blood glucose, glycosylated haemoglobin, and plasma fibrinogen. Multiple regression analysis of the patient data showed that about 40% of the variation in plasma homocysteine concentrations could be predicted by the values for the homocysteine metabolism cofactors, blood folate and plasma pyridoxal 5-phosphate and by renal function as reflected in the values for serum creatinine. In patients, urine excretion of homocysteine per unit creatinine was significantly increased and strongly correlated both to the plasma homocysteine concentration and to the values for blood folate, plasma pyridoxal 5-phosphate, and serum vitamin B12. We conclude that moderate hyperhomocysteinaemia is frequently present in cases of stroke, is independent of other stroke risk factors or the type of stroke, and is partly related to renal function and the concentrations of homocysteine metabolism cofactors.