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Objectives: To evaluate the hazard of prolonged antibiotic therapy and/or persistent diarrhea on vitamin K1 (VK1) level and bleeding profile in infants (2-24 weeks). Methods: A one-year case-control study, conducted at Ain Shams University, Egypt. 338 infants (2-24 weeks) were recruited and divided into 3 groups (1:1:3 ratios); group A (n= 67) patients who received antibiotics for ≥10 days, group B (n= 67) who had persistent diarrhea ≥ 14 days and group C (n=204) age- and gender-matched infants who were not either received antibiotics nor had diarrhea. All subjected to clinical assessment, bleeding history and had their complete blood count (CBC), PT and PTT, liver transaminases and VK1 level assayed. Results: There was a significant increase in the frequency of VKDB (vitamin K deficiency bleeding) and abnormal bleeding profile in cases than the control group. There was a significant negative correlation between VK1 level and duration of diarrhea, length of antibiotics used and bleeding profile. Antibiotic usage has a dangerous effect on the VK1 level in those with diarrhea; more patients were receiving antibiotic in those with persistent diarrhea and VKDB (N=55) than those with persistent diarrhea and normal VK1 (N=12). The longer duration of antibiotic therapy the lower level of VK1. Combining cephalosporins/penicillins therapy and/or diarrhea, in particular, had an impact on the VK1 level. Conclusion: VKDB, a preventable cause of life-threatening hemorrhage, is still a major health problem in Egyptian infants, where persistent diarrhea and misuse of antibiotics are prevalent, necessitate a booster dose of VK in those high risk infants.
Keyword: Prolonged Antibiotics; Persistent Diarrhea; Vitamin K1; Egyptian
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