Interpretation and management of INR results: A case history based survey in 13 countries

Ann Helen Kristoffersen, Geir Thue, Eva Ajzner, Neree Claes, Andrea Rita Horvath, Rina Leonetti, Kaja Kallion, Dianne Kitchen, Steve Kitchen, Marge Kutt, Piet Meijer, Mathias Muller, Elisabeth Nilsson, Carmen Perich, Inger Plum, Dunja Rogic, Rosy Tirimacco, Felix J.M. Van Der Meer, Joseph Watine, Sverre Sandberg

Research output: Article

13 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Standardisation of treatment with vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) is still an issue after 60 years of use. The study aimed to explore aspects of VKA monitoring in primary and secondary care. Methods: Two case histories were distributed to physicians in 13 countries. Case history A focused on a patient with atrial fibrillation on stable anticoagulation (latest INR 2.3). Physicians were asked about frequency of INR measurement, when to change the VKA dose, and the patient's annual risk of ischemic stroke and bleeding. Case history B focused on a patient with an unexpected INR of 4.8, asking for the patient's 48-hour bleeding risk, the immediate dose reduction and time until a repeat INR. Results: Altogether, 3016 physicians responded (response rate 8 - 38%), of which 82% were from primary care and 18% from secondary care. Answers varied substantially within and between countries regardless of level of care and VKA used. Median number of weeks between INR measurements was 4 - 6 weeks. Median threshold INR for increasing or decreasing the VKA dose was 1.9 and 3.1, respectively. Risk of ischemic stroke and bleeding were overestimated 2 - 3 times. In case history B, the median dose reduction the two first days was 75% for GPs and 55% for specialists, irrespective of estimates of bleeding risk; with one week to a repeat INR. Conclusion: Variation in VKA monitoring is substantial implying clinical consequences. Guidelines seem either unknown or may be considered impracticable. Further efforts towards standardisation of VKA management are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-315
Number of pages7
JournalThrombosis research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - szept. 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

Cite this

Kristoffersen, A. H., Thue, G., Ajzner, E., Claes, N., Horvath, A. R., Leonetti, R., Kallion, K., Kitchen, D., Kitchen, S., Kutt, M., Meijer, P., Muller, M., Nilsson, E., Perich, C., Plum, I., Rogic, D., Tirimacco, R., Van Der Meer, F. J. M., Watine, J., & Sandberg, S. (2012). Interpretation and management of INR results: A case history based survey in 13 countries. Thrombosis research, 130(3), 309-315.