Pharmacodynamic resistance to warfarin is associated with nucleotide substitutions in VKORC1

Authors


Andrew Mumford, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, University Walk, Bristol BS8 1TD, UK.
Tel.: +44 117 9282655; fax: +44 117 9284036.
E-mail: a.mumford@bristol.ac.uk

Abstract

Summary. Background: Vitamin K epoxide reductase subunit 1 (VKORC1) is the molecular target of coumarin anticoagulants and mutations in VKORC1 have been identified previously in individuals who required high warfarin doses. Objective: Detailed characterization of the relationship between variation in VKORC1 and the warfarin resistance phenotype. Patients and methods: Serum warfarin concentration and coagulation parameters were determined in 289 subjects who required warfarin doses >20 mg day−1. The VKORC1 sequence was studied in selected study subjects. Results: Twenty-eight out of 289 (10%) subjects had serum warfarin >2.3 mg L−1 during stable therapeutic anticoagulation indicating pharmacodynamic warfarin resistance. Detailed analysis of 15 subjects from this group showed that eight out of 15 (53%) had nucleotide substitutions in VKORC1 predictive of p.V66M, p.L128R, p.V54L or p.D36Y. VKORC1 was normal in the remaining seven out of 15 (47%) subjects and in nine out of nine (100%) subjects with high warfarin dose requirement not caused by pharmacodynamic resistance. At referral, subjects with VKORC1 mutations received a median warfarin dose of 32 mg day−1 (range 22–55) and had a median serum warfarin concentration of 4.6 mg L−1 (range 2.6–9.0). VKORC1 substitutions were associated with a requirement for high warfarin doses but not with adverse clinical events. Family members with VKORC1 nucleotide substitutions and not receiving warfarin had undetectable PIVKA-II and K1 epoxide (K1O). Conclusions: Nucleotide variations in VKORC1 are a common cause of pharmacodynamic warfarin resistance but are not associated with adverse outcome during anticoagulation. Mutations associated with warfarin resistance do not cause a discernible defect in VKORC1 reductase function.

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