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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2009 October;100(5):421-7

language: Italian

Homocysteine: a casual link with heart failure?

Vizzardi E., Bonadei I., Zanini G., Fiorina C., Raddino R., Dei Cas L.

Department of Cardiology, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy


Several studies and recent patents have demonstrated that hyperhomocysteinemia (HHCY) is an indipendent risk factor for congestive heart failure (CHF); it is also correlated to the severity of the disease. In literature there are some data about effects of HHCY on myocardial structure and function in animal models. These studies indicate a direct effect of HCY in promoting reactive myocardial fibrosis and systolic dysfunction, promoting miocardial redox state, endothelial and mithocondryal dysfunction, negative inotropic effect. According to some authors the HHCY is a potential ethiological factor for heart failure while according to others it is just an epiphenomenon without direct effects on myocardium. Nevertheless the literature studies show the relevant involvement of HHCY in CHF and the strong relations between HHCY plasma levels and the severity and prognosis of the disease. Regarding the potential mechanistic role of HHCY in CHF, all of these studies do not provide any mechanistic insights because of their epidemiological nature. Future studies need to explore the exact pathomechanisms of HHCY in CHF.

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