Combined Intravenous and Intra-Articular Tranexamic Acid in Simultaneous Bilateral Total Knee Arthroplasty without Tourniquet Use

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Abstract

Background:

A combined intravenous and intra-articular regimen is one of the most effective administration routes of tranexamic acid (TXA) to reduce perioperative blood loss in unilateral total knee arthroplasty. However, there have been few reports regarding use of the combined regimen for patients undergoing simultaneous bilateral total knee arthroplasty, in which blood-management strategy is more challenging.

Methods:

We compared perioperative blood loss in 30 consecutive patients undergoing simultaneous bilateral total knee arthroplasty who received both 1,000 mg of TXA intravenously and 1,000 mg of intra-articular TXA in each knee (combined TXA group) with that in a consecutive series of 51 patients who only received 1,000 mg of TXA intravenously (intravenous TXA group). Additional intravenous TXA was administered 6 hours after the initial administration in both groups. Except for the intraoperative TXA administration regimen, an identical perioperative blood-management strategy was applied to both groups; this consisted of transfusion of 800 or 400 mL of predeposited autologous blood except for patients with a preoperative hemoglobin level of <11.0 g/dL, who received 4 units of allogenic blood. All surgical procedures were performed with spinal anesthesia and without use of a pneumatic tourniquet. Perioperative blood loss was calculated using the blood volume and change in hemoglobin level from the preoperative measurement to postoperative day 3.

Results:

There was significantly less perioperative blood loss in the combined TXA group compared with the intravenous TXA group (mean and standard deviation, 1,201 ± 347 versus 1,638 ± 400 mL, respectively; mean difference, 437 mL; 95% confidence interval, 263 to 613 mL; p < 0.0001). No patient in the combined TXA group and 1 patient (2%) in the intravenous TXA group required additional allogenic blood transfusion. No thrombotic events occurred in either group.

Conclusions:

In a nonrandomized comparison, combined intra-articular and intravenous TXA significantly reduced the calculated perioperative blood loss in simultaneous bilateral total knee arthroplasty compared with that found in patients treated only with intravenous TXA.

Level of Evidence:

Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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