Hyperhomocyst(e)inemia is an independent risk factor for atherothrombosis in several clinical settings in which renal function is impaired, but its prevalence in the nephrotic syndrome has not been investigated in detail, even though this syndrome provides an excellent model in which to study a possible link between albuminuria, proteinuria, and hyperhomocyst(e)inemia. We obtained plasma and urine from 27 patients with biopsy-confirmed membranous glomerulonephritis presenting nephrotic syndrome and 27 matched controls and determined the concentrations of homocyst(e)ine and proteins considered putative markers of glomerular and tubular function. Hyperhomocyst(e)inemia, defined as the mean +SD of the plasma homocyst(e)ine concentration of the controls [plasma homocyst(e)ine concentration >10.8 μmol/l] was present in 26% of the patients with nephrotic syndrome but in only 7.4% of the controls. Furthermore, the degree of hyperhomocyst(e)inemia was more severe in the nephrotic patients than in the controls. The existence of renal failure, tubular damage, and, interestingly, relatively well conserved glomerular function barrier were the main predictors of increased levels of plasma homocyst(e)ine. In conclusion, hyperhomocyst(e)inemia is a frequent cardiovascular risk factor present in patients with nephrotic syndrome and renal failure, but it is not directly associated with proteinuria.
- Renal failure