Topical tranexamic acid reduces transfusion rates in simultaneous bilateral total knee arthroplasty: a retrospective case series

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Abstract

Background

Topical tranexamic acid (TA) has been reported to be effective in reducing postoperative bleeding and transfusions after total knee arthroplasty (TKA). The main objective of this study was to retrospectively assess the effectiveness and safety of topical TA administration in patients undergoing simultaneous bilateral TKA.

Methods

We conducted a retrospective chart review of consecutive cohorts of patients undergoing simultaneous bilateral TKA. We compared the patients who received TA with patients from a similar time frame who did not receive TA. For those who received TA, a topical concentration of 2 g per 30 mL of normal saline was used in each knee. Preoperative and postoperative hemoglobin, transfusions, length of stay (LOS) and postoperative complications were recorded for each patient until discharge. Outcome measures were analyzed using independent t test, χ2 test and logistic regression.

Results

We included 49 patients in our analysis: 25 who received TA and 24 who did not. There were no statistical differences in demographics between the groups. The rate of transfusion in the TA group was 4% compared with 67% in the non-TA group (p < 0.001). The net hemoglobin loss in the TA group was 4.1 g/dL versus 6.2 g/dL in the non-TA group (p < 0.001). The use of TA was found to be associated with a greater than 99% reduced risk of receiving a transfusion (odds ratio 0.003, 95% confidence interval < 0.001–0.072, p < 0.001). There were no thromboembolic events in patients who received TA, and there was 1 pulmonary embolus in the non-TA group. Postoperative LOS was significantly reduced in the TA group (mean difference 1.1 d, p = 0.005).

Conclusion

Topical administration of TA in patients undergoing simultaneous bilateral TKA significantly reduced transfusions, blood loss and postoperative LOS, with no increased risk of thromboembolic events.

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