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March 1984

Vitamin K—Dependent Coagulation Factors in Gram-negative Septicemia

Author Affiliations

From the Section of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, Tucson.

Am J Dis Child. 1984;138(3):240-242. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1984.02140410020008

• Coagulation studies were performed on 16 children with gram-negative septicemia without the complications of septic shock, liver disease, malnutrition, or laboratory evidence of classic disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Ten (63%) of the 16 cases were found to have abnormal partial thromboplastin and/or prothrombin times. The coagulopathy was caused by a reduction in the vitamin K—dependent coagulation factors. The mechanism that produced this coagulopathy was not known, but evidence was found that suggested that endotoxin may interfere with the vitamin K—carboxylation reaction. The data indicated that abnormal coagulation screening test results in children with gram-negative septicemia were not specific for DIC and that a significant number of patients had a coagulopathy not related to DIC.

(AJDC 1984;138:240-242)