Annals of Hematology

, Volume 88, Issue 2, pp 141–149

Vitamin K deficiency amplifies anticoagulation response to ximelagatran: possible implications for direct thrombin inhibitors and their clinical safety

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00277-008-0565-x

Cite this article as:
Kamali, F., Wood, P. & Ward, A. Ann Hematol (2009) 88: 141. doi:10.1007/s00277-008-0565-x


Dietary vitamin K is known to influence the anticoagulation response to warfarin. It is possible that dietary vitamin K availability also influences the pharmacological activity of other oral anticoagulants, which target the vitamin-K dependent clotting proteins in the coagulation cascade. This study examined whether vitamin K insufficiency affected anticoagulation response to the direct thrombin inhibitor, ximelagatran. Anticoagulation response to ximelagatran and warfarin in rats on a normal diet was compared to those on a vitamin K deficient diet. Ximelagatran and warfarin increased prothrombin time (PT) by 1.4- and 1.3-fold, activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) by 1.8- and 1.4-fold and ecarin clotting time (ECT) by 6.8- and 1.2-fold, respectively, in rats on normal diet. Vitamin K deficient diet alone caused modest increases in PT, APTT and ECT. The anticoagulant activity of both ximelagatran and warfarin was significantly greater in rats on vitamin K deficient diet (6.1- and 12.3-fold for PT, 2.6- and 5.1-fold for APTT and 2.9- and 1.6-fold for ECT, respectively) compared to those on normal diet. Factor II activity was reduced by both ximelagatran (58%) and warfarin (44%) in rats on normal diet. However, factor II activity was virtually abolished (<0.1%) by both drugs in rats on vitamin K deficient diet. The results suggest that oral anticoagulant drugs, whose primary site of action is not within the vitamin K cycle, may also exhibit variability in clinical response due to dietary variation as the established coumarin drugs such as warfarin.


AnticoagulantsDietDirect thrombin inhibitorsVitamin KWarfarin

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Cellular MedicineNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK