Vitamin K versus warfarin interruption alone in patients without bleeding and an international normalized ratio > 10

J Thromb Haemost. 2020 May;18(5):1133-1140. doi: 10.1111/jth.14772. Epub 2020 Mar 30.


Background: Reversal of an international normalized ratio (INR) > 10 with vitamin K is recommended in patients experiencing bleeding; however, information on outcomes with reversal using vitamin K in non-bleeding patients is lacking.

Objective: To compare clinical and safety outcomes between non-bleeding patients receiving warfarin with an INR > 10 who did and did not receive a prescription for vitamin K.

Patients/methods: This was a retrospective cohort study conducted in an integrated health-care delivery system. Adult patients receiving warfarin therapy who experienced an INR > 10 without bleeding between 01/01/2006 and 06/30/2018 were included. Patients were assessed for an outpatient dispensing or in-office administration of vitamin K on the day of or the day after an INR > 10 and then clinically relevant bleeding, thromboembolism, all-cause mortality, and time to INR < 4 within the next 30 days.

Results: A total of 809 patients was included with 332 and 477 who were and were not dispensed vitamin K, respectively. Overall, mean patient age was 71.7 years, 60.1% were female and the mean INR was 10.4 at presentation. There were no differences between groups in 30-day rates of bleeding or thromboembolism (both P > .05). Patients dispensed vitamin K had a higher likelihood of mortality (15.1% versus 10.1%, P = .032, adjusted odds ratio = 1.63, 95% confidence interval 1.03 to 2.57). Overall, time to an INR < 4 was similar between groups.

Conclusion: Vitamin K administration was not associated with improved clinical outcomes in asymptomatic patients with an INR > 10.

Keywords: anticoagulation; bleeding; international normalized ratio; thromboembolism; warfarin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anticoagulants
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • International Normalized Ratio
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vitamin K*
  • Warfarin*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Vitamin K
  • Warfarin