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Effect of methionine loading on pulse wave analysis in elderly volunteers
  1. S R Hart1,
  2. A A Mangoni2,
  3. C G Swift2,
  4. S H D Jackson2
  1. 1Division of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2Guys, King’s and St Thomas’ School of Medicine, King’s College, CARU, King’s College Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr SR Hart
 Bramwell Dott Building, Division of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, UK; sh{at}


Objective: To test the hypothesis that an acute increase in plasma homocysteine produced by methionine is associated with an acute increase in pulse wave velocity.

Design: A double blind, cross over, placebo controlled design was used and pulse wave velocity, plasma homocysteine, total cholesterol: high density lipoprotein ratio, plasma triglyceride, oxidised low density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations, apolipoproteins A1 and B, and C reactive protein were measured between 12.5 and 20 hours after methionine loading or placebo.

Results: Between 12.5 and 20 hours after exposure to a methionine loading test, arterial pulse wave velocity showed no significant difference compared with placebo. At 12 hours after exposure to the methionine loading test, in the presence of a controlled diet, triglyceride concentration significantly increased by 32.6% (p<0.02), cholesterol: high density lipoprotein ratio increased significantly by 22.5% (p<0.05) compared with placebo. Simultaneously, systolic blood pressure increased significantly by 4.9% (p<0.02).

Conclusion: In elderly volunteers, acute hyperhomocysteinaemia induced by methionine loading resulted in no overall significant delayed reduction in peripheral arterial distensibility. A significant deterioration in the lipid profile and increased blood pressure was seen during acute hyperhomocysteinaemia.

  • PWV, pulse wave velocity
  • HDL, high density lipoprotein
  • LDL, low density lipoprotein
  • CRP, C reactive protein
  • Apo, apolipoprotein
  • blood pressure
  • cardiovascular risk
  • cholesterol:HDL ratio
  • lipid profile
  • methionine

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  • Funding: this project was supported by a single grant (a British Geriatric Society Startup Grant).

  • Conflicts of interest: none.