Impact of Vitamin K Administration on Elevated International Normalized Ratio in Chronic Liver Disease

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Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Hemostasis


Limited studies assess the efficacy of vitamin K administration in patients with chronic liver disease (CLD). However, vitamin K is commonly used to treat elevations in international normalized ratio (INR) in these patients with the intended benefit of reducing bleeding risk. This retrospective, single-center cohort study aimed to evaluate the impact of vitamin K administration on INR in patients with CLD. Hospitalized patients ≥ 18 years of age with a diagnosis of CLD or cirrhosis and received vitamin K were included. The primary outcome was the absolute change in INR from baseline to 24 to 48 h after vitamin K administration. Secondary endpoints included subgroup analyses of the primary outcome by route of administration and single versus multidose administration, and incidence of in-hospital venous thromboembolism (VTE) or major bleeding. A total of eighty-five patients, primarily with Child–Pugh class C (76.5%), were included. Route of vitamin K administration included oral (PO) (72%) and intravenous (IV) (26%) with a mean daily dose of 8.5 ± 2.3 mg. The absolute change in INR was −0.07 ± −0.35 following vitamin K administration. There was no difference in absolute INR change between single versus multiple dose administration (−0.16 ± −0.35 and −0.03 ± −0.35; P=.13) or between PO versus IV administration (−0.06 ± −0.23 and −0.18 ± −0.48; P =.11). The incidences of in-hospital VTE and major bleeding were 2.4% and 3.5%, respectively. The administration of vitamin K in hospitalized patients with CLD resulted in minimal INR change, suggesting this intervention may not have the intended benefit of reducing bleeding risk.



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