Antenatal Vitamin K Therapy of the Low-Birth-Weight Infant

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The purpose of our study was to determine whether maternal vitamin K1 administered antenatally improved global coagulation parameters and the levels of specific vitamin K--dependent proteins in low-birth-weight infants.


Thirty-three preterm mothers admitted in labor were assigned in a prospective, blinded fashion to receive either intramuscular vitamin K1 (17) or placebo (16). At delivery cord blood samples were tested for prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time, factor II and protein C activity, and antigen levels. Statistical analysis was by Student t test.


No statistically significant differences could be demonstrated with regard to group mean values for global tests (prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time) or specific vitamin K--dependent protein levels (factor II, protein C) in newborns whose mothers received antenatal vitamin K compared with those who did not.


These results would suggest that antenatal vitamin K1 therapy to mothers <32 weeks' gestation has no significant effect on the level of vitamin K--dependent factors in the fetus. (AM J OBSTET GYNECOL 1994;170:85-9.)

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