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Background: Patients with cystic fibrosis are at risk for impaired vitamin K status due to fat malabsorption from pancreatic insufficiency. This study was designed to assess vitamin K status and measure the effect of vitamin K1 supplementation in cystic fibrosis patients.

Methods: Eighteen outpatients participated in a crossover study to determine the effect of vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) supplementation. After obtaining initial data, each subject was randomly assigned to either a 4-week study treatment of 5 mg oral vitamin K1 supplementation per week, or no supplementation and then crossed over to the other treatment for a second 4 week period. Plasma, serum and urine samples were collected and analyzed pre-study and at the end of each study period.

Results: The mean concentration of plasma vitamin K1 for the supplemented group was significantly higher than the unsupplemented group, [0.34 nmol/L and 0.21 nmol/L, respectively (p < 0.05)]. The percent of undercarboxylated osteocalcin increased on supplementation from 17% to 31%, (p < 0.005). Prothrombin induced in vitamin K absence (PIVKA-II) increased on supplementation from 5 ng/mL to 22 ng/mL, (p < 0.005). The ratio of urinary gammacarboxyglutamic acid/creatinine was similar for both study periods.

Conclusions: In contrast to other studies in cystic fibrosis, this study demonstrated a need for vitamin K1 supplementation. The carboxylation state of osteocalcin and PIVKA-II were the most sensitive indices of changes in vitamin K1 status. Although the 5 mg vitamin K1/week dose improved these vitamin K parameters, normal levels were not achieved.

(C) Lippincott-Raven Publishers.