Vitamin K deficiency may occur for a number of reasons. The body pool is relatively small and anything that interferes with vitamin K absorption or function can result in clinical deficiency. A patient with one or more risk factors should be evaluated for vitamin K deficiency.


Conditions associated with vitamin K deficiency:

(1) drugs and items in the diet that interfere with absorption or act as antagonists

(2) long-term hyperalimentation without adequate vitamin K

(3) diet deficient in vitamin K

(4) malabsorption secondary to cystic fibrosis, chronic diarrhea and gastrointestinal disorders such as celiac sprue, ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease

(5) chronic cholestatic conditions with fat malabsorption such as primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC)

(6) malnutrition associated with cancer, hemodialysis or chronic alcoholism

(7) surgical patient, often related to malnutrition, antibiotic therapy or extensive bowel resection

(8) chronic liver disease


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