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Abbreviation for homocysteine.
homocysteine (HCY) test
a blood test used to detect levels of homocysteine, which, if increased, may act as an independent risk factor for ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral arterial disease, and venous thrombosis. This test should be considered for screening in individuals with progressive and unexplained atherosclerosis despite normal lipoproteins and in the absence of other risk factors and in those with an unusual family history of atherosclerosis.
HSCH2CH2CH(NH2)COOH; an amino acid produced by the catabolism of methionine. With serine, it forms a complex that eventually produces cysteine and homoserine. There is evidence that a high level of homocysteine in the blood may be associated with an increased risk of developing atherosclerosis. Although blood homocysteine levels may be lowered by eating foods rich in folic acid, e.g., green leafy vegetables and fruits, and by vitamin pills containing folic acid and vitamin B6 or B12, research has failed to show that any of these causes a significant reduction in cardiovascular disease.