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Transfusion. 2009 Jun;49(6):1171-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2008.02080.x. Epub 2009 Feb 6.

Suboptimal effect of a three-factor prothrombin complex concentrate (Profilnine-SD) in correcting supratherapeutic international normalized ratio due to warfarin overdose.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390-9073, USA.



Plasma transfusion is standard therapy for urgent warfarin reversal in the United States. "Four-factor" prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC), available in Europe, has advantages over plasma therapy for warfarin reversal; however, only "three-factor" PCCs (containing relatively low Factor [F]VII) are available in the United States.


The efficacy of a three-factor PCC for urgent warfarin reversal was evaluated in 40 patients presenting with supratherapeutic international normalized ratio (ST-INR > 5.0) with bleeding (n = 29) or at high risk for bleeding (n = 11). In 13 patients, pre- and posttherapy vitamin K-dependent factors were assayed. Historical controls (n = 42) treated with plasma alone were used for rate of ST-INR correction comparison.


Treatment with plasma alone (mean, 3.6 units) lowered the INR to less than 3.0 in 63 percent of historical controls. Low-dose (25 U/kg) and high-dose (50 U/kg) PCC alone lowered INR to less than 3.0 in 50 and 43 percent of patients, respectively. Additional transfusion of a small amount of plasma (mean, 2.1 units) increased the rate of achieving an INR of less than 3.0 to 89 and 88 percent for low- and high-dose PCC therapy, respectively. FII, F IX, and FX increments were similar for PCC-treated patients with or without supplemental plasma; FVII was significantly higher in the PCC plus plasma group compared to the PCC-only group (p = 0.001).


Three-factor PCC does not satisfactorily lower ST-INR due to low FVII content. Infusion of a small amount of plasma increases the likelihood of satisfactory INR lowering.

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