Efficacy and safety of intra-articular versus intravenous tranexamic acid in reducing perioperative blood loss in total knee arthroplasty: A PROSPECTIVE RANDOMIZED DOUBLE-BLIND EQUIVALENCE TRIAL

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Abstract

Aims

The aims of this study were to compare the efficacy and safety of intra-articular and intravenous (IV) tranexamic acid (TXA) in controlling perioperative blood loss in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) using a randomized, double-blinded equivalence trial.

Patients and Methods

A total of 182 patients aged between 45 and 75 years undergoing unilateral TKA at a tertiary centre were randomized to receive TXA, either 1.5 g intra-articularly after closure of the wound (n = 91) or two doses of 10 mg/kg IV (n = 91). The primary outcome measure was the reduction in the level of haemoglobin (Hb) in the blood on the fifth postoperative day. Secondary outcome measures were the total, visible, and hidden blood losses (TBL, VBL, HBL). We assumed equivalence of the primary outcome in both routes with a margin of ± 0.35gm/dl. Block randomization using computer-generated random numbers was used. The patients and the assessor of outcome were blinded.

Results

All patients completed the study. The mean difference in the reduction of the level of Hb between the two groups was -0.0055 gm/dl, with two-sided 95% confidence interval (CI) being -0.29 to 0.27, well within the predefined equivalence margin of ± 0.35gm/dl. The groups were comparable with regard to TBL, VBL, HBL, and complications. No patient needed a blood transfusion.

Conclusion

A single intra-articular dose and two IV doses of TXA give equivalent efficacy and safety in the management of blood loss at TKA.

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