Background and Aims: Cirrhotic patients with a prolonged prothrombin time (PT) are known to have low levels of factor VII. Because the current modalities to correct this problem are not ideal, recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa) may be useful in correcting the prolonged PT observed in the coagulopathy of cirrhosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of rFVIIa in nonbleeding volunteer patients with the coagulopathy of cirrhosis. Methods: A preliminary, single-center, dose- escalation trial was performed. Cirrhotic patients with a PT of >2 seconds above the upper limit of the reference value received an intramuscular injection of vitamin K. Ten patients whose PT did not correct to within 2 seconds above the control of the upper limit of the reference value were given three successive dosages of rFVIIa (5, 20, and 80 μg/kg) during a 3- week period. Results: The mean PT transiently corrected to normal in all three dosage groups. No adverse effects were noted. There was no evidence of the induction of disseminated intravascular coagulation. Conclusions: This preliminary trial shows rFVIIa to be effective in transiently reversing the prolonged PT in a select group of nonbleeding cirrhotic patients. These preliminary observations support conducting a large-scale efficacy trial.
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