Patients receiving warfarin who have unstable control of anticoagulation have a significantly lower intake of dietary vitamin K compared with their stable counterparts. We hypothesized that supplementation with oral vitamin K would improve stability in patients with previously unstable control of anticoagulation. Seventy warfarin-treated patients with unstable anticoagulation control were randomly assigned in a double-blinded fashion to receive a daily amount of 150 μg oral vitamin K or placebo orally for 6 months. Measures of stability of anticoagulation control in the 6-month study period were compared with those in the 6 months immediately prior to it. Vitamin K supplementation resulted in a significantly greater decrease in standard deviation of international normalized ratio (INR) compared with placebo (−0.24 ± 0.14 vs −0.11 ± 0.18; P < .001) and a significantly greater increase in percentage time within target INR range (28% ± 20% vs 15% ± 20%; P < .01). Anticoagulation control improved in 33 of 35 patients receiving vitamin K supplementation; of these, 19 fulfilled our criteria for having stable control of anticoagulation. However, only 24 of 33 patients receiving placebo demonstrated some degree of improvement, with only 7 patients fulfilling the criteria for having stable control. Concomitant supplementation of vitamin K, perhaps through reducing the relative day-to-day variability in dietary vitamin K intake, can significantly improve anticoagulation control in patients with unexplained instability of response to warfarin.
- Submitted September 26, 2006.
- Accepted November 6, 2006.
- Copyright © 2007 by The American Society of Hematology