The relationship between plasma homocysteine level and HLA-B51 in patients with Behcet’s disease: a case-control study


Abstract: Background: Various coagulation disorders have been reported to explain hypercoagulability state in Behcet’s disease (BD). A possible negative association between human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-B51 and increased homocysteine level has been suggested in a previous report from Iranian patients with BD. The aim of this study was to find any possible relationship between plasma homocysteine levels and HLA-B51. Methods: In a case-control study, BD patients (fulfilling the new International Criteria for BD) and controls (who had similar clinical symptoms but BD was clinically excluded in them) were included. Mean plasma homocysteine levels measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in HLA-B51 positive and negative individuals both in patients and controls were compared by t-test, Mann–Whitney test and analysis of variance (F-test). Results: Ninety-six BD patients and 152 controls were recruited. There was no significant difference between HLA-B51 positive and negative individuals either in the mean plasma homocysteine levels (13.59  9.03 vs. 12.95  4.98 lmol/L, P = 0.514), or in the prevalence of hyperhomocysteinemia (17% vs. 21.4%, P = 0.504). This was true both for BD and control groups. In HLA-B51 positive and negative BD patients, mean plasma homocysteine levels were 14.29  12.02 and 12.62  4.79 lmol/L, respectively (P = 0.33), and the prevalence of hyperhomocysteinemia was 20.8% versus 19.5% (P = 0.55). In the control group, the mean plasma homocysteine levels in HLA-B51 positive and negative individuals were 12.85  4.28 and 13.14  5.10 lmol/L, respectively (P = 0.794), and the prevalence of hyperhomocysteinemia was 13% versus 22.1% (P = 0.23). The difference was non-significant regarding sex (P > 0.71) and disease activity (P > 0.31). Conclusion: In contrast to our previous report, we found no relationship between plasma homocysteine levels and HLA-B51 in this study, either in BD or in the control group. Key words: Behcet’s disease, HLA-B51, homocysteine, thrombosis.