Background: Methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is a key enzyme in homocysteine metabolism. This study aims to determine the impact of MTHFR polymorphisms on plasma homocysteine levels and risks of venous thromboembolism (VTE).
Methods: This retrospective chart review study included a total of 188 subjects who were tested for MTHFR polymorphisms at Metrowest Coagulation Laboratory between April 2011 and April 2016. Two independent coders were trained to extract relevant clinical data for statistical analysis.
Results: VTE occurred in 50% of patients with compound mutation, compared with only 28.6% of subjects from the wild-type group. Patients with heterozygous or homozygous A1298C or C677T variants had an intermediate risk of VTE. The median homocysteine level in the wild-type group was slightly lower than that of heterozygous or homozygous MTHFR variants. The difference, however, was not significant (p = 0.6193). Moreover, there was no difference in plasma homocysteine level between patients with VTE versus VTE-free (p = 0.4923).
Conclusions: Heterozygous or homozygous MTHFR variants, especially a compound mutation, are associated with increased risk of VTE. Hyperhomocysteinemia does not correlate with MTHFR polymorphisms or VTE risk. Hence, MTHFR genotyping provides more consistent assessment of VTE risk. This information can be incorporated into risk stratification for early intervention and prophylaxis of VTE.
Keywords: Homocysteine metabolism; Methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase; Venous thromboembolism.
© 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.