Homocysteine and Heart Failure: An Overview

Author(s): Enrico Vizzardi, Ivano Bonadei, Gregoriana Zanini, Silvia Frattini, Claudia Fiorina, Riccardo Raddino, Livio Dei Cas

Journal Name: Recent Patents on Cardiovascular Drug Discovery
Continued as Recent Advances in Cardiovascular Drug Discovery

Volume 4 , Issue 1 , 2009


An elevated plasma level of homocysteine (HCY) is associated with increased risk of thrombotic and atherosclerotic vascular disease. Several studies and recent patents have demonstrated that hyper-homocysteinemia (HHCY) is an indipendent risk factor for vascular disease. An elevated homocysteine level has been also reported to be a risk factor for the development of congestive heart failure (CHF) in individuals free of myocardial infarction. Animal studies showed that experimental HHCY induces systolic and diastolic dysfunction, as well as an increased BNP expression. Moreover, hyperhomocysteinemic animals exhibit an adverse cardiac remodeling characterized by accumulation of interstitial and perivascular collagen. The mechanisms leading from an elevated HCY level to reduced pump function and adverse cardiac remodeling are a matter of speculation. Existing data indicate that direct effects of HCY on the myocardium, as well as nitric oxide independent vascular effects, are involved. Preliminary data from small intervention trials have initiated the speculation that HCY lowering therapy by micronutrients may improve clinical as well as laboratory markers of CHF. In conclusion, HHCY might be a potential etiological factor in CHF. Future studies need to explore the exact pathomechanisms of HHCY in CHF. Moreover, larger intervention trials are needed to clarify whether modification of plasma HCY by B-vitamin supplementation improves the clinical outcome in CHF patients.

Keywords: Homocysteine, congestive heart failure, ventricular remodeling, collagen, hyper-homocysteinemia, thrombotic and atherosclerotic vascular disease

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Article Details

Year: 2009
Page: [15 - 21]
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.2174/157489009787259991
Price: $65

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