Context.-The key question when managing patients on warfarin therapy who present with life-threatening bleeding is how to use the international normalized ratio (INR) to best direct corrective therapy. The corollary question for the clinical laboratory is at what level will the INR reflect a critical value that requires notifying the clinician. Objective.-To determine the levels of vitamin K-dependent factors over a range of INR values. Design.-Evaluation of the vitamin K-dependent coagulation factor levels on plasma remnants from patients in whom a prothrombin time and INR was ordered to monitor warfarin therapy. There were a total of 83 specimens evaluated with an INR range from 1.0 to 8.26. Results.-The mean activity levels of all 4 factors remained near or above 50% when the INR was less than 1.5. The average factor X level was 23% when the INR range was 1.6 to 2.5, but levels of factors II, VII, and IX did not drop below the hemostatic range until the INR was greater than 2.5. At an INR of 3.6 or more, the activity levels of all 4 factors were less than 30% in more than 90% of the specimens. Conclusion.-Levels of factors II, VII, IX, and X declined with increasing INR but not at the same rate and not to the same level at a given INR. However, most of the values were below the hemostatic value once the INR was 3.6 or more, the level that was also considered critical for physician notification.
|Number of pages
|Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
|Published - Apr 1 2011
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Medical Laboratory Technology