Scientists identify genes that determine right warfarin dose

March 21st, 2009 - 2:06 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Mar 21 (ANI): Researchers at Uppsala University, together with colleagues at Karolinska Institute and Sanger Institute, have identified three genes that would help determine the optimal dose of blood-thinning drug warfarin.

The team led by Mia Wadelius have come across three genes VKORC1, CYP2C9, and CYP4F2 that would help determine adequate warfarin dosage.

“We have previously studied selected genes that can affect warfarin treatment, said Wadelius.

Now that we have gone in and scanned the entire genome, we see that the two most important genes are among those we previously singled out.

“The adequate warfarin dosage for a patient is determined by three genes: VKORC1, CYP2C9, and CYP4F2. This is a step forward for a large group of patients, because it will be easier to determine the dosage, and the treatment will be less risky,” she added.

During the study, the researchers looked at more than 1,000 warfarin patients and roughly 370,000 gene variants, covering the entire human genome.

Patients vary in their sensitivity to warfarin, which makes treatment initially a risky balancing act between bleeding and blood clots.

Wadelius said that the variation is great among patients, sometimes up to a difference of twenty times.

“We will continue to look for genetic variants that influence the risk of bleeding, which can be a reaction to warfarin treatment, though a rare one, said Wadelius.

The study appears in the scientific journal PLoS Genetics. (ANI)

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