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26-03-2012 | Cardiometabolic | Article

Transthyretin levels may indicate CVD risk


Free abstract

MedWire News: Findings from a Spanish study suggest that serum transthyretin (TTR) levels are inversely correlated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk.

In a group of 39 individuals with past acute myocardial infarction (AMI), 100 individuals with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), and 60 CVD-free controls, TTR levels were highest among controls and lowest among AMI patients.

Specifically, median TTR levels (measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), among AMI, FH, and control individuals were 170, 200, and 223 µg/ml, respectively.

When TTR levels were assessed over time among 27 of the AMI patients, they showed a significant and steady decrease with increasing time since AMI admission.

Indeed, median TTR was 168.5 µg/ml at time of admission, 157.8 µg/ml at 8 hours postadmission, 146.5 µg/ml at 24 hours postadmission, and 110.0 µg/ml at 72-96 hours postadmission.

The trimeric form of TTR (tTTR) was noted as a specific marker of CVD risk among AMI patients. For example, patients with no more than two CVD risk factors had a higher tTTR intensity than those with three or more risk factors.

Writing in the journal Atherosclerosis, Lina Badimon (Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona) and co-authors say: "The inverse association of tTTR levels with the clustering of CVD risk factors indicates the importance of TTR in CVD risk."

Further analysis using bidimensional electrophoresis revealed the existence of monomeric (mTTR) and dimeric (dTTR) forms of the molecule, with mTTR specifically found within high density lipoprotein (HDL) fractions in serum samples.

In addition, HDL-specific mTTR levels showed an inverse association with CVD risk.

Badimon et al conclude that the development of TTR-measuring tests may be useful in improving the accuracy of CVD risk assessment.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Lauretta Ihonor