BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2018 19:191

Comparison of intravenous and topical tranexamic acid in total knee arthroplasty

Wenbo Wei, Shajie Dang, Dapeng Duan and Ling Wei


To investigate the clinical effectiveness of intravenous (IV) and topical tranexamic acid (TXA) in patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA) by comparing safety, efficacy and patient-reported outcomes.


In this prospective single-blind clinical trial, 64 patients were randomized into two groups (n = 32 each). The Intravenous Group was administered TXA 10 mg/kg IV (Reyong, Shandong, China) 10 min prior to tourniquet deflation. In the Topical Group, 1.0 g TXA diluted in 50 ml of normal saline was injected into the surgical site, which was bathed in the solution for at least 5 min prior to tourniquet deflation. Outcomes included changes in hemoglobin levels, intra-operative, post-operative, and total blood loss, number of transfusions and number of transfused units, patient-reported postoperative Visual Analog Scale (VAS) score for knee pain, and complications.


There were no significant differences in intra-operative blood loss, post-operative blood loss, total blood loss, or post-operative decrease in hemoglobin in the Intravenous Group versus the Topical Group. The number of transfused red blood cell units was significantly greater and-post-operative VAS score was significantly lower in the Intravenous Group. There were no differences in post-operative thromboembolic complications between groups.


Topical TXA is not inferior to IV administration in reducing perioperative blood loss in primary TKA. However, the influence of injection volume of locally applied TXA on post-operative knee pain warrants further investigation.

Trial registration

Clinical ethics committee of Shaanxi People’s Hospital (2009), No.125. (ChiCTR 1,800,015,793) registered on 20/04/2018.

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