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Eleven patients with cholestatic jaundice had measurements of plasma vitamin K1 performed. Seven of these 11 (64%) had subnormal levels. The prothrombin time (PT) was prolonged in three of 15 patients with cholestasis (20%), the patient with the longest PT had the lowest vitamin K1 level. A single intramuscular (im) dose of 10 mg vitamin K1 lowered the PT in 9/15 patients (includes correcting the three prolonged PTs). The initial mean plasma vitamin K1 level rose 24 h later, to a mean plasma level which was 33 times the upper limit of the normal physiological range. These preliminary results suggest that a majority of patients presenting with cholestatic jaundice have low tissue reserves of vitamin K1, and that guidelines for vitamin K1 therapy in patients with cholestatic jaundice should be revised.