Comparison of 3-Factor Versus 4-Factor Prothrombin Complex Concentrate with Regard to Warfarin Reversal, Blood Product Use, and Costs

Jessica DeAngelo, Daniel Jarrell, Richard Cosgrove, James Camamo, Christopher Edwards, Asad E. Patanwala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Prothrombin complex concentrates (PCCs) are drug products containing varying amounts of vitamin K-dependent coagulation factors II, VII, IX, and X. The evidence comparing 3-factor PCC (3-PCC) versus 4-factor PCC (4-PCC) for warfarin reversal is conflicting. It has been hypothesized that 3-PCC may be less effective than 4-PCC because of relatively lower factor VII content. Study Question: The primary objective of this study was to compare international normalized ratio (INR) reversal between 3-PCC and 4-factor PCC (4-PCC) in warfarin-treated patients. The secondary objectives include comparing blood product use, total reversal costs, and cost-effectiveness between the groups. Study Design: This was a retrospective cohort study conducted in 2 affiliated, academic institutions in the United States. Consecutive adult patients who received 3-PCC or 4-PCC for warfarin reversal were included. Measures and Outcomes: The primary outcome was adequate INR reversal defined as a final INR #1.5. Secondary outcomes were the utilization of plasma, red blood cells and platelets, reversal costs, and the cost-effectiveness ratio. Results: There were 89 patients who were included in the overall cohort (3-PCC 5 57, 4-PCC 5 32). Adequate INR reversal occurred less commonly with 3-PCC (45.6%) compared with 4-PCC (87.5%) (P, 0.001). There was no significant difference in the proportion of patients who received plasma (32% vs. 28%, P 5 0.813), red blood cells (37% vs. 47%, P 5 0.377), or platelets (16% vs. 28%, P 5 0.180) between the 3-PCC and 4-PCC groups, respectively. The median reversal cost of 3-PCC ($3663) was lower than 4-PCC ($5105) (P 5 0.001). The cost-effective ratio favored 4-PCC ($5105/ 87.5% 5 $5834) compared with 3-PCC ($3663/45.6% 5 $8033). Conclusions: Four-PCC was more effective than 3-PCC with regard to INR reversal in patients taking warfarin, but blood product use was similar. Although 4-PCC is associated with increased reversal costs, it may be cost-effective in terms of INR reversal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E326-E332
JournalAmerican journal of therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • Anticoagulants
  • Blood coagulation factors
  • Hemorrhage
  • Warfarin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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