A recently identified gene may help clinicians fine-tune warfarin doses more quickly and precisely, according to a new study. Because warfarin has a narrow therapeutic window, many patients must undergo months of titration to achieve their ideal dosage.
Researchers believe that variations in the gene encoding vitamin K epoxide reductase complex 1 (VKORC1) explain why appropriate warfarin doses vary widely among patients. They found that Asian-Americans were more likely to have the low-dose VKORC1 gene, European Americans the intermediate-dose gene, and African-Americans the high-dose gene. Screening for VKORC1 variations could help improve warfarin dosing, but the researchers say more studies are needed first.