Topical Application of Tranexamic Acid Reduces Postoperative Blood Loss in Total Knee Arthroplasty A Randomized, Controlled Trial

Department of Anesthesia, Toronto Western Hospital, University of Toronto, 2MC-434, 399 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON M5T 2S8, Canada.
The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (Impact Factor: 5.28). 11/2010; 92(15):2503-13. DOI: 10.2106/JBJS.I.01518
Source: PubMed


Topical application of tranexamic acid to bleeding wound surfaces reduces blood loss in patients undergoing some major surgeries, without systemic complications. The objective of the present trial was to assess the efficacy and safety of the topical application of tranexamic acid on postoperative blood loss in patients undergoing primary unilateral total knee arthroplasty with cement.
In a prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 124 patients were randomized to receive 1.5 or 3.0 g of tranexamic acid in 100 mL of normal saline solution or an equivalent volume of placebo (normal saline solution) applied into the joint for five minutes at the end of surgery. The primary outcome was blood loss calculated from the difference between the preoperative hemoglobin level and the corresponding lowest postoperative value or hemoglobin level prior to transfusion. The safety outcomes included Doppler ultrasound in all patients and measurement of plasma levels of tranexamic acid one hour after release of the tourniquet.
Twenty-five patients were withdrawn for various reasons; therefore, ninety-nine patients were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. The postoperative blood loss was reduced in the 1.5 and 3-g tranexamic acid groups (1295 mL [95% confidence interval, 1167 to 1422 mL] and 1208 mL [95% confidence interval, 1078 to 1339 mL], respectively) in comparison with the placebo group (1610 mL [95% confidence interval, 1480 to 1738 mL]) (p < 0.017). The postoperative hemoglobin levels were higher in the 1.5 and 3.0-g tranexamic acid groups (10.0 g/dL [95% confidence interval, 9.5 to 10.4 g/dL] and 10.1 g/dL [95% confidence interval, 9.8 to 10.5 g/dL], respectively) in comparison with the placebo group (8.6 g/dL [95% confidence interval, 8.2 to 9 g/dL]) (p < 0.017). With the numbers studied, there was no difference in the rates of deep-vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism between the three groups. Minimal systemic absorption of tranexamic acid was observed.
At the conclusion of a total knee arthroplasty with cement, topical application of tranexamic acid directly into the surgical wound reduced postoperative bleeding by 20% to 25%, or 300 to 400 mL, resulting in 16% to 17% higher postoperative hemoglobin levels compared with placebo, with no clinically important increase in complications being identified in the treatment groups.

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    • "Tranexamic acid is a synthetic derivative of the amino acid lysine that inhibits fibrinolysis by competitively blocking the lysine-binding sites of plasminogen. Numerous studies have demonstrated that the administration of tranexamic acid, either topically or systemically, diminishes bleeding following an array of surgical procedures [7-10], including TKA [3, 11], without predisposing to thromboembolic complications. "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction : Blood loss during and after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) can lead to substantial morbidity and the need for blood transfusions. There are several methods to minimize blood loss and to decrease transfusion rates in patients undergoing TKA. Tranexamic acid is an antifibrinolytic agent with known efficacy for achieving these goals. Currently, many surgeons are performing TKA without the use of tourniquet. Consequently, the aim of the study is to evaluate whether tranexamic acid reduces blood loss during and after TKA without the adjunctive use of above-the-knee tourniquet. Methods : We performed a prospective randomized controlled trial (1:1 fashion) on the use of tranexamic acid versus placebo in 50 patients undergoing TKA (without tourniquet). The treatment group received two (preoperative and postoperative) 15 mg/kg doses. The primary endpoint was blood transfusion rate. We collected data about demographic and procedural characteristics, hemoglobin and hematocrit values, drain blood loss at 24 hours as well as adverse events. Results : There were no transfusions in the treatment group, whereas 32% of the control group required transfusion (p<0.01). The treatment group had higher hematocrit and hemoglobin levels at 24, 48 and 72 hours after surgery (all p<0.01) and lower drain loss at 24hours (363.4±141 vs 626±260ml, p=<0,001). There were no in-hospital or six-month thromboembolic complications. Discussion : A double-dose of tranexamic acid was safe and effective, reducing blood loss and preventing the need of blood transfusion in patients undergoing TKA without above-the-need tourniquet.
    The Open Orthopaedics Journal 07/2014; 8(1):250-4. DOI:10.2174/1874325001408010250
    • "In addition, there were no significant differences among the groups under study regarding the emergence of complications as deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Furthermore, the serum level of tranexamic acid was measured in this study showing its low systemic absorption.[10] This study is consistent with ours regarding the lack of drug complications between the two groups. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: One of the major complications of cardiac surgery is the presence of post-operative bleeding. The aim of the present study was to investigate the topical application of tranexamic acid in the pericardial cavity on post-operative bleeding in off-pump coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Materials and Methods: This study was on 71 patients who underwent off-pump CABG. The anesthesia and surgery methods were the same for all patients. Patients were assigned to two equal groups. In the first group, 1 g of tranexamic acid in 100 mL of normal saline solution (NSS) was applied to pericardium and mediastinal cavity at the end of surgery. In the second group, only 100 mL of NSS was applied. Chest drainage of the patients after 24 h and the amounts of blood and blood products transfusion were also recorded during this time. Results: Patients were the same regarding demographic information and surgery. The average volume of blood loss after 24 h was 366 mL for the first group and 788 mL for the control group. There was a statistically significant difference between the two groups (P < 0.001). The amount of packed red blood cells transfusion in the first group was less than that of the control group, which was not statistically significant. There was no statistically significant difference between the amount of hemoglobin, hematocrit, platelets, prothrombin time and partial thromboplastin time in the post-operative stage in the two groups. Conclusion: The topical application of tranexamic acid in off-pump CABG patients leads to a decreased post-operative blood loss.
    04/2014; 8(2):224-8. DOI:10.4103/1658-354X.130724
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    • "Aminocaproic acid has been shown be more costly and yet less effective than TXA [13] (TXA is 7–10 times as potent [28]). TXA has also been shown to be less expensive when compared to fibrin sealants and just as effective [11,15]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Tranexamic acid (TXA) is an antifibrinolytic drug used as a blood-sparing technique in many surgical specialties. The principal objective of our meta-analysis was to review randomized, controlled trials (RCT) comparing total blood loss and the number of patients receiving allogeneic blood transfusions with and without the use of TXA for knee (TKA) and hip (THA) arthroplasty. Methods Studies were included if patients underwent primary unilateral TKA or THA; the study involved the comparison of a TXA treatment group to a control group who received either a placebo or no treatment at all; outcome measures included total blood loss TBL, number of patients receiving allogeneic blood transfusions, and/or incidence of thromboembolic complications; the study was a published or unpublished RCT from 1995 – July 2012. Results Data were tested for publication bias and statistical heterogeneity. Combined weighted mean differences in blood loss favoured TXA over control for TKA and THA patients respectively [ −1.149 (p < 0.001; 95% CI −1.298, -1.000), -0.504 (p < 0.001; 95% CI, -0.672, -0.336)]. Combined odds ratios favoured fewer patients requiring allogeneic transfusions for TKA and THA with the use of TXA respectively [0.145 (p < 0.001; 95% CI, 0.094, 0.223), 0.327 (p < 0.001; 95% CI, 0.208, 0.515)]. Combined odds ratios indicated no increased incidence of DVT with TXA use in TKA and THA respectively [1.030 (p = 0.946; 95% CI, 0.439, 2.420), 1.070 (p = 0.895; 95% CI, 0.393, 2.911)]. Conclusions TXA should be considered for routine use in primary knee and hip arthroplasty to decrease blood loss.
    BMC Research Notes 05/2013; 6(1):184. DOI:10.1186/1756-0500-6-184
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