Protein-caloric malnutrition does not predict subtle vitamin K depletion in hospitalized patients

A. Jatoi, C. Lennon, M. O'Brien, S. L. Booth, J. Sadowski, J. B. Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Recent studies suggest that subtle vitamin K depletion has far-reaching consequences. As this entity is not associated with prothrombin time elevation, it is important to determine whether alternate methods can help identify it. We investigated subtle vitamin K depletion in a hospital setting and determined whether protein-calorie malnutrition predicts its presence. Design, setting, subjects: Using a high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) assay of plasma phylloquinone and a food frequency questionnaire for phylloquinone intake, we examined the phylloquinone status of 27 hospitalized patients with normal coagulation parameters, no liver disease, and no recent warfarin use. We assessed protein-calorie nutritional status with Reilly's criteria and anthropometries. Results: 51% of patients (95% Cl = 31% to 70%) had evidence of subtle vitamin K depletion as defined by a subnormal plasma phylloquinone concentration. Patients whose phylloquinone intake was less than the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) over the preceding year had lower plasma phylloquinone concentrations when compared to other patients: median (range) 0.106 nmol/l (0.022-0.461) versus 0.301 nmol/l (0.067-3.928), respectively (P = 0.023). Plasma phylloquinone concentrations were no different, however, between well-nourished and malnourished patients: median (range) 0.245 nmol/l (0.022-0.522) versus 0.188 nmol/l (0.067-3.928), respectively (P = 0.782). Conclusions: Subtle vitamin K depletion is common among hospitalized patients and protein-calorie malnutrition does not predict its presence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)934-938
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean journal of clinical nutrition
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1998


  • Phylloquinone
  • Protein-calorie malnutrition
  • Vitamin K

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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