Homocysteine is an amino acid that is produced by the body by chemically altering adenosine. It may be used to evaluate heart function, vitamin B levels, folate levels, renal (kidney) function or enzyme activities, and those with a history of heart disease or stroke.
High homocysteine levels can directly damage the delicate endothelial cells that line the inside of arteries, resulting in vascular inflammation, arterial plaque rupture, and blood clot formation.
Symptoms that qualify a patient to have a homocysteine test include but are not limited to:
Rapid heart rate
Discomfort in the arms, feet, hands, or legs
Loss of appetite
Individuals who have recently experienced a stroke or heart attack may want this test to assess risk of cardiovascular disease, inflammation, or disorder.