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DESTRUCTION OF PROTHROMBIN AND STORAGE OF VITAMIN K

J. GARROTT ALLEN, M.D.; CORNELIUS VERMEULEN, M.D.
Arch Surg. 1941;42(6):969-972. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1941.01210120002001.
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Patients with obstructive jaundice not infrequently have hypoprothrombinemia within a week after the onset of jaundice. In a previous communication, Livingstone and one of us (Allen)1 gave evidence that vitamin K is stored in the body and will prevent a precipitous fall after discontinuance of administration of the drug to patients with obstructive jaundice. Lord, Andrus and Moore2 have likewise concluded from their work that vitamin K is stored and have suggested the liver as the site of storage. Such observations raise the problems of the rapidity of in vivo destruction of prothrombin and the apparent absence of storage of vitamin K.

The intimate association of prothrombin elaboration and the liver is shown in the hepatectomized dog. In such an animal the prothrombin falls to zero within twenty-four hours.3 Similar disappearance of prothrombin has been produced by chloroform poisoning.4 This complete loss of prothrombin in such

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