Four-factor prothrombin complex concentrate versus plasma for rapid vitamin K antagonist reversal in patients needing urgent surgical or invasive interventions: a phase 3b, open-label, non-inferiority, randomised trial

Lancet. 2015 May 23;385(9982):2077-87. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61685-8. Epub 2015 Feb 27.


Background: Rapid reversal of vitamin K antagonist (VKA)-induced anticoagulation is often necessary for patients needing urgent surgical or invasive procedures. The optimum means of VKA reversal has not been established in comparative clinical trials. We compared the efficacy and safety of four-factor prothrombin complex concentrate (4F-PCC) with that of plasma in VKA-treated patients needing urgent surgical or invasive procedures.

Methods: In a multicentre, open-label, phase 3b randomised trial we enrolled patients aged 18 years or older needing rapid VKA reversal before an urgent surgical or invasive procedure. We randomly assigned patients in a 1:1 ratio to receive vitamin K concomitant with a single dose of either 4F-PCC (Beriplex/Kcentra/Confidex; CSL Behring, Marburg, Germany) or plasma, with dosing based on international normalised ratio (INR) and weight. The primary endpoint was effective haemostasis, and the co-primary endpoint was rapid INR reduction (≤1·3 at 0·5 h after infusion end). The analyses were intended to evaluate, in a hierarchical fashion, first non-inferiority (lower limit 95% CI greater than -10% for group difference) for both endpoints, then superiority (lower limit 95% CI >0%) if non-inferiority was achieved. Adverse events and serious adverse events were reported to days 10 and 45, respectively. This trial is registered at, number NCT00803101.

Findings: 181 patients were randomised (4F-PCC n=90; plasma n=91). The intention-to-treat efficacy population comprised 168 patients (4F-PCC, n=87; plasma, n=81). Effective haemostasis was achieved in 78 (90%) patients in the 4F-PCC group compared with 61 (75%) patients in the plasma group, demonstrating both non-inferiority and superiority of 4F-PCC over plasma (difference 14·3%, 95% CI 2·8-25·8). Rapid INR reduction was achieved in 48 (55%) patients in the 4F-PCC group compared with eight (10%) patients in the plasma group, demonstrating both non-inferiority and superiority of 4F-PCC over plasma (difference 45·3%, 95% CI 31·9-56·4). The safety profile of 4F-PCC was generally similar to that of plasma; 49 (56%) patients receiving 4F-PCC had adverse events compared with 53 (60%) patients receiving plasma. Adverse events of interest were thromboembolic adverse events (six [7%] patients receiving 4F-PCC vs seven [8%] patients receiving plasma), fluid overload or similar cardiac events (three [3%] patients vs 11 [13%] patients), and late bleeding events (three [3%] patients vs four [5%] patients).

Interpretation: 4F-PCC is non-inferior and superior to plasma for rapid INR reversal and effective haemostasis in patients needing VKA reversal for urgent surgical or invasive procedures.

Funding: CSL Behring.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blood Coagulation Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Loss, Surgical / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Hemostasis, Surgical / methods
  • Hemostatics / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • International Normalized Ratio
  • Male
  • Plasma*
  • Preoperative Care / methods
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamin K / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Blood Coagulation Factors
  • Hemostatics
  • Vitamin K
  • prothrombin complex concentrates

Associated data