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Lack of association between the Lewis blood group system and coronary vessel obstruction

Previous studies have shown an association between the Lewis blood group system and coronary artery disease (CAD) from the observation that the Le(a-b-) red blood cell phenotype was prevalent among these patients and thus proposed this red blood cell phenotype as a new genetic marker for the disease. The aim of this study was to verify the prevalence of this genetic marker among Brazilian patients who had undergone coronary arteriography. Phenotyping of the Lewis system was carried out using gel centrifugation and genotyping of the LE locus was made using PCR-RFLP. One hundred and eighty-three patients, 114 male and 69 female, with an average age of 59.1 years (SD ± 12.37; median 60), were enrolled. One hundred and twenty-one (66.1%) patients presented some degree of coronary obstruction, which was two times more frequent in men compared to women (p=0.07). The frequencies of the Lewis red blood cell phenotypes were similar between patients with and without coronary obstruction and the Le(a-b-) was not associated to the presence of coronary obstructions (p=0.36). A high level of discrepancies between phenotype and genotype were observed in Lewis negative patients based on genotyping of the T59G (86.7%) and T1067A (90.0%) SNPs. The frequencies of T and G alleles (position 59) and T and A alleles (position 1067) were similar among patients with and without coronary obstructions (p = 0.52 and p= 0.44, respectively). These results show that the Lewis system is not associated with the presence of coronary artery obstruction and do not support the proposition that the Le(a-b-) red blood cell phenotype represents a risk marker for this disease among Brazilian patients.

Lewis system; coronary artery obstruction; FUT3 polymorphisms

Associação Brasileira de Hematologia e Hemoterapia e Terapia Celular R. Dr. Diogo de Faria, 775 cj 114, 04037-002 São Paulo/SP/Brasil, Tel. (55 11) 2369-7767/2338-6764 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil