Vitamin K for upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with acute or chronic liver diseases.
Upper gastrointestinal bleeding is one of the most frequent causes of morbidity and mortality in the course of liver cirrhosis. Several treatments are used for upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with liver diseases. One of them is vitamin K administration, but it is not known whether it benefits or harms patients with acute or chronic liver disease and upper gastrointestinal bleeding. To assess the beneficial and harmful effects of vitamin K for patients with acute or chronic liver disease and upper gastrointestinal bleeding. We searched the Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group Controlled Trials Register (12 June 2012), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library (Issue 5 of 12, 2012), MEDLINE (Ovid SP) (1946 to 12 June 2012), EMBASE (Ovid SP) (1974 to 12 June 2012), Science Citation Index EXPANDED (1900 to 12 June 2012), and LILACS (1982 to 19 June 2012). Additional randomised trials were sought from two registries of clinical trials: the Clinical Trials Search Portal of the WHO, and the Metaregister of Controlled Trials. We looked through the reference lists of the retrieved publications and review articles. Randomised clinical trials irrespective of blinding, language, or publication status for assessment of benefits and harms. Observational studies were considered for assessment of harms only. Data from randomised clinical trials were to be summarised by standard Cochrane Collaboration methodologies. We could not find any randomised trials on vitamin K for upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with liver diseases in which we could assess benefits and harms. We could not identify quasi-randomised studies, historically controlled or observational studies in which we could assess harms. This updated review found no randomised clinical trials on the benefits and harms of vitamin K for upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with liver diseases. The effects of vitamin K need to be tested in randomised clinical trials. Until randomised clinical trials are conducted to assess the trade off between benefits and harms, we cannot recommend nor refute vitamin K for upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with liver diseases.