BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2018 19:227

Combined use of topical intraarticular tranexamic acid and rivaroxaban in total knee arthroplasty safely reduces blood loss, transfusion rates, and wound complications without increasing the risk of thrombosis

Yong Tae Kim, Min Wook Kang, Joon Kyu Lee, Young Min Lee and Joong Il Kim


Blood loss and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) are important complications after total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Topical tranexamic acid (TXA) effectively reduces wound bleeding but may elevate the risk of DVT. In contrast, rivaroxaban potently prevents DVT but has been associated with bleeding complications. The simultaneous use of topical TXA and rivaroxaban in TKA has not been much investigated.


A retrospective cohort study was conducted with two consecutive groups of patients who underwent TKA. Intraoperatively, one group (RVTX group) received topical, intraarticular TXA, while the other (RV group) did not. Both groups were administered rivaroxaban postoperatively for 14 days and underwent Doppler ultrasound for DVT screening. After propensity score matching, both groups consisted of 52 patients (104 patients in total) and were compared regarding total drain output, nadir haemoglobin (Hb), maximum Hb decrease, calculated total blood loss, transfusion rate, and incidence of DVT and wound complications.


Both groups showed no significant differences in the propensity-matched variables of age, sex, body mass index, American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status score, and preoperative Hb. The RVTX group showed a significantly higher nadir Hb (p < 0.001), lower drain output (p < 0.001), Hb decrease (p = 0.015), total blood loss (p < 0.001), and rate of transfusion (p < 0.001) and fewer wound complications (p = 0.027). However, the incidence of DVT (p = 1.000) did not differ significantly between the two groups, and all cases were asymptomatic.


The combined use of intraarticular topical TXA with rivaroxaban in patients undergoing TKA is a safe and effective method to reduce blood loss, the need for transfusion, and wound complications without elevating the risk of DVT.

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