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Variable warfarin response during treatment initiation poses a significant challenge to providing optimal anticoagulation therapy. We investigated the determinants of initial warfarin response in a cohort of 167 patients. During the first nine days of treatment with pharmacogenetics-guided dosing, S-warfarin plasma levels and international normalized ratio were obtained to serve as inputs to a pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic (PK-PD) model. Individual PK (S-warfarin clearance) and PD (I max) parameter values were estimated. Regression analysis demonstrated that CYP2C9 genotype, kidney function, and gender were independent determinants of S-warfarin clearance. The values for I max were dependent on VKORC1 and CYP4F2 genotypes, vitamin K status (as measured by plasma concentrations of proteins induced by vitamin K absence, PIVKA-II) and weight. Importantly, indication for warfarin was a major independent determinant of I max during initiation, where PD sensitivity was greater in atrial fibrillation than venous thromboembolism. To demonstrate the utility of the global PK-PD model, we compared the predicted initial anticoagulation responses with previously established warfarin dosing algorithms. These insights and modeling approaches have application to personalized warfarin therapy. © 2011 Gong et al.