Plasma platelet-activating factor acetylhydrolase(PAF-AH) acts as a key defense against oxidative stress by hydrolyzing PAF and oxidized phospholipids. Deficiency of the activity of this enzyme may thus potentially result in predisposition to myocardial damage. The possible role of the G994 (V allele) → T (F allele) polymorphism of the PAF-AH gene in modulating cardiac function was investigated in 142 Japanese subjects with nonfamilial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Logistic regression analysis adjusted for age, sex, height, and body weight revealed that the frequency of the F allele was significantly higher in HCM patients than in 284 healthy controls. Echocardiographic examination revealed that left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic and end-systolic dimensions were significantly greater in HCM patients with the FF genotype than in those with the VV genotype. Cardiac catheterization revealed that LV end-diastolic pressure was significantly higher, whereas the LV ejection fraction was significantly smaller, for HCM patients with the F allele than for those with the VV genotype. Interstitial fibrosis was significantly more severe in HCM subjects with the FF genotype than in those with the VV genotype. These results suggest that the G994 → T (Val279 → Phe) polymorphism in the plasma PAF-AH gene may exacerbate cardiac damage in Japanese individuals with nonfamilial HCM, although this polymorphism is unlikely to be a causative factor for this condition.
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