Main haplotypes and mutational analysis of vitamin K epoxide reductase (VKORC1) in a Swedish population: a retrospective analysis of case records

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Vitamin K epoxide reductase (VKORC1) is the site of inhibition by coumarins. Several reports have shown that mutations in the gene encoding VKORC1 affect the sensitivity of the enzyme for warfarin. Recently, three main haplotypes of VKORC1; *2, *3 and *4 have been observed, that explain most of the genetic variability in warfarin dose among Caucasians.


We have investigated the main haplotypes of the VKORC1 gene in a Swedish population. Additional objective was to screen the studied population for mutations in the coding region of VKORC1 gene.


Warfarin doses and plasma S- and R-warfarin of 98 patients [with a target International Normalized Ratio (INR) of 2.0–3.0] have been correlated to VKORC1 haplotypes. Controls of 180 healthy individuals have also been haplotyped. Furthermore, a retrospective analysis of case records was performed to find any evidence indicating influence of VKORC1 haplotypes on warfarin response in the first 4 weeks (initiation phase) and the latest 12 months of warfarin treatment.

Results and conclusions

Our result shows that VKORC1*2 is the most important haplotype for warfarin dosage. Patients with VKORC1*2 haplotype had more frequent visits than patients with VKORC1*3 or *4 haplotypes, higher coefficient of variation (CV) of prothrombin time-INR and higher percentage of INR values outside the therapeutic interval (i.e. 2.0–3.0) than patients with VKORC1*3 or *4 haplotypes. Also, there was a statistically significant difference in warfarin dose (P < 0.001) and R-warfarin plasma levels (P < 0.01) between VKORC1*2 and VKORC1*3 or 4 haplotypes. Patients with VKORC1*2 haplotype seem to require much lower warfarin doses than other patients.

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