Fasting, postprandial, and post-methionine-load homocysteinaemia and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase polymorphism in vascular disease.
Hyperhomocysteinaemia is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The C677T mutation of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is a common genetic cause of increased homocysteine (HCY) levels. Post-methionine-load HCY concentrations allow identification of certain cases of hyperhomocysteinaemia not demonstrated by fasting levels. This study investigated the relationship between MTHFR polymorphism and (1) fasting HCY levels (77 patients); (2) post-methionine HCY levels (54 patients); and (3) postprandial HCY concentrations (36 patients) in cardiovascular disease. As expected, mean fasting HCY value was higher in the +/+ patients. Moreover, patients who were homozygous for the mutation exhibited significantly increased mean post-methionine-load HCY; in contrast, literature results are conflicting. Mean postprandial HCY, which is not known to be increased in controls, was also increased in the (+/+) patients, although the difference did not reach statistical significance, probably owing to the small size of the sample. MTFHR polymorphism is known to be aggravated by a drop in circulating folate. Additional risk factors may be more prevalent in patients with cardiovascular disease.