Pharmacogenetic variants and vitamin K deficiency: a risk factor or trigger for fibrosing interstitial pneumonias? (Drent M et al.)

The journal, Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine, has published a paper that examined pharmacogenetic factors underlying interindividual differences of vitamin K status in patients with interstitial pneumonias and the possibilities for a personalized approach to patient management.

Fibrosing interstitial pneumonias are associated with various stages of fibrosis. The cause of this group of syndromes remains largely unknown. For most of these diseases, a genetic basis, environmental factors, and certain triggers have been suggested as possible risk factors. Various studies have found an association between genetic polymorphisms, or the presence of certain variant alleles, and the occurrence and/or progression of interstitial pneumonias of unknown origin. An acute exacerbation of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis shows characteristics of diffuse alveolar haemorrhage (DAH). DAH can be aggravated by vitamin K deficiency.

Recent findings suggest that DAH has been associated with the presence of variant alleles in vitamin K epoxide reductase complex 1, cytochrome P450 (CYP)2C9 and CYP2C19 genes. Vitamin K deficiency has been associated with an increased risk for the development of DAH and progression and/or deterioration of interstitial pneumonias. This is in line with plausible pathophysiological mechanisms. However, clinical use should be confirmed, according to researchers.

“DAH has been associated with vitamin K deficiency and suggested as potential trigger of fibrosing interstitial pneumonias,” the researchers concluded. “Information on genetic variation might benefit ongoing/new clinical trials, design of which should reflect needs to address relevance of testing gene variants. Whether vitamin K supplementation may prevent exacerbations or progression of interstitial pneumonias needs to be explored in future studies.”

Dr. Katarzyna Maresz, president of the International Science and Health Foundation, is encouraged that this study suggests Vitamin K supplementation could prove beneficial for patients with fibrosing interstitial pneumonias.


Drent M et al. Pharmacogenetic variants and vitamin K deficiency: a risk factor or trigger for fibrosing interstitial pneumonias? Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2018 May;24(3):287-295.


Recommendation was sent. Thank you!