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Ann Dermatol Venereol. 2011 Oct;138(10):645-51. doi: 10.1016/j.annder.2011.05.009. Epub 2011 Jun 28.

[Hyperhomocysteinemia and leg ulcers: A prospective study of 68 patients].

[Article in French]

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Service de dermatologie, CHU de Nancy, b√Ętiment Philippe-Canton, France.



Homocysteine is a sulphur-containing amino acid derived from methionine. Hyperhomocysteinaemia is now recognised as an independent risk factor for occlusive arterial disease and thrombotic venous disease. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of hyperhomocysteinemia in patients with leg ulcers.


We prospectively investigated hospitalised patients for vascular leg ulcers between March 2008 and June 2009 at two dermatology centres. We collected details of cardiovascular disease and determined nutritional status by means of the MNA score. Fasting blood samples were taken and analyzed for homocysteine, albumin, prealbumin, folic acid, vitamin B12, creatinine and a complete blood count.


Sixty-eight patients were enrolled in the study: 48 women and 20 men. Fifty-three percent of patients had venous leg ulcers, 18% had arterial leg ulcers and 20% had leg ulcers of mixed origin. The prevalence of hyperhomocysteinemia was 56%, with no differences according to ulcer type or gender.


While the prevalence of hyperhomocysteinemia in our population of leg ulcer patients was high, this descriptive study does not allow us to establish any causal link between hyperhomocysteinemia and leg ulcers. Moreover, since the literature indicates that homocysteine-lowering therapy does not reduce cardiovascular and thromboembolic risk, there appears to be little call for further trials on hyperhomocysteinaemia and leg ulcers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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