Role of homocysteine level as risk factor in the occurrence of cardiovascular events in renal transplant recipients

Shraddha Goswami, Achal Sepaha, Mukesh Dube, Abhishek Singh, Bhavani Mohan Raju, Anand Awasthi


Background: Traditional risk factors like elevated homocysteine levels may not completely explain the higher CVD seen in RTRs. Identification and optimisation of modifiable risk factors may help to reduce the occurrence of CVD in such population. To study the role of homocysteine level as risk factor in the occurrence of cardiovascular events in renal transplant patients. Another objective was to evaluate the other risk factors in the occurrence of CVD in such population.

Methods: Thirty renal transplant recipients and thirty healthy controls were studied. Inclusion criteria were transplant duration >6 months and patients with chronic stable renal function over the last 3 months. Samples for fasting plasma homocysteine were collected and plasma homocysteine was then estimated. All the patients were followed up every month for 6 months and evaluated for occurrence of any cardiovascular event.

Results: The mean hornocysteine levels were found to be 27.4±7.902 µmol/L in cases and 10.86±1.98 µmol/L in controls. There was no statistically significant relationship between homocysteine levels and transplant duration, mean IMT levels, proteinuria, and presence of left ventricular hypertrophy or choice of immunosuppressive regimen. Of the 30 patients, 6 patients (20%) had evidence of cardiovascular event. In the absence of other conventional factors, age of the patient, creatinine clearance (index of graft function) and mean intima-media thickness were more closely related with cardiovascular events.  

Conclusions: Plasma homocysteine failed to show as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular events. New, emerging cardiovascular risk factors (e.g. Lipoprotein (a), high sensitivity C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, tissue plasminogen activator and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1) should be studied to design effective therapy to delay the progression of atherosclerosis and prolong the life of renal transplant recipients.


Hyperhomocysteinemia, Risk factors, Cardiovascular diseases, Homocysteine, Renal transplant

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