This study reports an increased susceptibility to warfarin anticoagulation in mice bearing an experimental tumour, the Lewis lung carcinoma. In these animals, following a single i.v. injection of warfarin, the prothrombin complex activity decreased normally but recovered far slower than in controls, while the rate of degradation of the clotting factors was not modified. At the level of the vitamin K-dependent liver carboxylase, it was possible to demonstrate an increase in the endogenous substrate (reflecting an impairment of the carboxylase vitamin K dependent system). This abnormality was reversed by vitamin K administration and can be reasonably ascribed to a vitamin K deficiency in association with tumour growth.
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