We have evaluated a boy who had excessive bleeding and bruising from birth and showed markedly prolonged prothrombin times, partially correctable by oral vitamin K administration. Additional laboratory studies demonstrated decreased activities of plasma factors II, VII, IX, and X; near normal levels of immunologically detected and calcium binding-independent prothrombin; undercarboxylation of prothrombin; excess circulating vitamin K epoxide; decreased excretion of carboxylated glutamic acid residues; and abnormal circulating osteocalcin. These results all are consistent with effects resulting from decreased posttranslational carboxylation secondary to an inborn deficiency of vitamin K epoxide reductase. This individual also had nasal hypoplasia, distal digital hypoplasia, and epiphyseal stippling on infant radiographs, all of which are virtually identical to features seen secondary to first-trimester exposure to coumarin derivatives. Therefore, by inference, the warfarin embryopathy is probably secondary to warfarin's primary pharmacologic effect (interference with vitamin K-dependent posttranslational carboxylation of glutamyl residues of various proteins) and may result from undercarboxylation of osteocalcin or other vitamin K-dependent bone proteins.