Vitamin K1 to slow vascular calcification in haemodialysis patients (VitaVasK trial): a rationale and study protocol

Thilo Krueger*, Georg Schlieper, Leon Schurgers, Tom Cornelis, Mario Cozzolino, Johannes Jacobi, Michel Jadoul, Markus Ketteler, Lars C. Rump, Peter Stenvinkel, Ralf Westenfeld, Andrzej Wiecek, Sebastian Reinartz, Ralf-Dieter Hilgers, Juergen Floege

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background. Patients on haemodialysis (HD) exhibit increased cardiovascular mortality associated with accelerated vascular calcification (VC). VC is influenced by inhibitors such as matrix Gla protein (MGP), a protein activated in the presence of vitamin K. HD patients exhibit marked vitamin K deficiency, and supplementation with vitamin K reduces inactive MGP levels in these patients. The VitaVasK trial analyses whether vitamin K1 supplementation affects the progression of coronary and aortic calcification in HD patients. Methods. VitaVasK is a prospective, randomized, parallel group, multicentre trial (EudraCT No.: 2010-021264-14) that will include 348 HD patients in an open-label, two-arm design. After baseline multi-slice computed tomography (MSCT) of the heart and thoracic aorta, patients with a coronary calcification volume score of at least 100 will be randomized to continue on standard care or to receive additional supplementation with 5 mg vitamin K1 orally thrice weekly. Treatment duration will be 18 months, and MSCT scans will be repeated after 12 and 18 months. Primary end points are the progression of thoracic aortic and coronary artery calcification (calculated as absolute changes in the volume scores at the 18-month MSCT versus the baseline MSCT). Secondary end points comprise changes in Agatston score, mitral and aortic valve calcification as well as major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) and all-cause mortality. VitaVask also aims to record MACE and all-cause mortality in the follow-up period at 3 and 5 years after treatment initiation. This trial may lead to the identification of an inexpensive and safe treatment or prophylaxis of VC in HD patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1633-1638
JournalNephrology Dialysis Transplantation
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


  • haemodialysis
  • matrix Gla protein
  • vascular calcification
  • vitamin K


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