Homocysteine Control is a stable liquid product intended to simulate human patient samples for the purpose of monitoring the precision of laboratory testing procedures for homocysteine.
Elevated levels of homocysteine (>10 micromoles/liter) in the blood may be associated with atherosclerosis as well as an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, blood clot formation, and possibly Alzheimer’s disease.
In 1969 Dr. Kilmer S. McCully reported that children born with a genetic disorder called homocystinuria, sometimes died at a very young age with advanced atherosclerosis. These children were found to have extremely elevated homocysteine levels. It was not until the 1990’s however, that the importance of homocysteine in heart disease and stroke was appreciated.
An elevated level of homocysteine in the blood (hyperhomocysteinemia) is believed to cause narrowing and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). This process is thought to occur through a variety of ways involving elevated homocysteine. The vessel narrowing in turn leads to diminished blood flow through the affected arteries.
Elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood may also increase the tendency to excessive blood clotting. Blood clots inside the arteries can further diminish the flow of blood ultimately leading to either a heart attack or stroke.
Elevated homocysteine levels also have been shown to be associated with formation of blood clots in veins (deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism). The mechanism is complex, but it is similar to the way that they contribute to atherosclerosis. In some studies, even moderately increased levels of homocysteine showed higher rates of repeated incidence of blood clot formation.