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Homocysteine in myointimal hyperplasia

Lookup NU author(s): Monica Hansrani, Professor James Gillespie, Professor Gerard Stansby


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Introduction: homocysteine, a sulphur-containing non-essential amino acid, appears to play a role in the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis. However, its role in myointimal hyperplasia, the cause of almost 30% of failures of interventional therapeutic procedures, is much less clear. Methods: a review of the published scientific data concerning the role of homocysteine in myointimal hyperplasia was performed using MEDLINE and other on-line databases. Evidence was sought from cell culture experiments, animal models and clinical studies. Results: several clinical studies have recently been published linking plasma homocysteine levels to restenosis in coronary and peripheral arterial disease. However, several contradictory studies also exist making the role of homocysteine unclear. There are currently no published randomised trials. Cell culture and animal model experiments have elucidated several potential mechanisms by which may stimulate myointimal hyperplasia. Possible mechanisms include endothelial cell activation with the enhanced release of inflammatory cytokines and growth factors and a direct effect on vascular smooth muscle cell migration and proliferation. Conclusion: further studies are required before the true role of homocysteine in the pathogenesis of myointimal hyperplasia can be clearly evaluated. If evidence does confirm a role, the ease with which homocysteine levels can be normalised makes it an attractive alternative therapeutic target for intervention.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gillespie JI; Stansby G; Hansrani M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery

Year: 2002

Volume: 23

Issue: 1

Pages: 3-10

ISSN (print): 1078-5884

ISSN (electronic): 1532-2165

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1053/ejvs.2001.1526


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