Plasma Total Homocysteine (tHcy) Levels in Healthy Nigerian Volunteers

  • AA Akande
  • OT Salisu
  • PM Kolo

Abstract

Establishment and stratification of reference values for a laboratory area of practice enhances the test result interpretation and sensitivity. Plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) is a metabolite of methionine which is dependent on vitamin B6, B12 and folate as co-factors. Plasma level (Hyperhomocysteinemia) is influenced by age, sex and diet. High levels can be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction and stroke. This is why plasma tHcy determination is assuming a routine screening test of cardiovascular profile in patients with increased risk of cardiac event from existing cardiovascular diseases. This study was to determine the age, sex stratified reference interval in a
Nigeria population. Fifty eight reference individuals were selected randomly from a North Central zone, Nigeria population and tHcy was determined by fluorescent polarization Immunoassay method using IMX immunoanalyser. The reference interval of tHcy determined in our study was 1.7 – 17.7 μmol/L (minimum = 4.9μmol/L, maximum = 21.4μmol/L). Plasma tHcy level is influenced by diet, sex and age, laboratories may need to establish their practice area reference interval for proper interpretation of test result.
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