Vitamin K Deficiency in the Setting of Blenderized Tube Feeding Regimen in a Teenager: A Case Report

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Vitamin K acts a cofactor for the gamma-carboxylation of several proteins in the coagulation cascade. The clinical spectrum of vitamin K deficiency (VKD) can be asymptomatic to a significant bleeding. VKD is classically seen in newborns. However, this can manifest later in patients with risks such as sub-optimal nutrition, fat malabsorption, medications including antibiotics. A 17-year-old male with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) Type 1, tracheostomy with ventilator dependent, gastrostomy tube feeding was seen by the gastroenterologist following treatment for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Investigations showed coagulopathy following which he was transferred to the Pediatric ICU. Labs revealed prothrombin time (PT) 114 s [Normal 9.4-12.5 s], INR (International normalized ratio) 12.6 [Normal < 1.1] and partial thromboplastin time (PTT) 90 s [Normal 25.1-36.5 s]. Mixing studies and coagulation assays were consistent with VKD (low Factor VII and Factor IX with normal Factor V). His home blenderized feeding regimen met the caloric requirement but not the adequate intake (AI) values for vitamin K and other minerals. He received intravenous vitamin K (phytonadione) for five consecutive days with resolution of the coagulopathy (PT 13.2 s, PTT 37.1 s, INR 1.2). The patient was discharged on enteral vitamin K and additional supplements following dietary review by a nutritionist. Clinicians should be cognizant of VKD in patients on blenderized tube feeds which may not meet the adequate intake (AI) goals. In patients who are not receiving nutritionally complete formulas or receiving inadequate volumes, it is important to monitor macro and micronutrients.