The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 7, S249 - S255

Topical Tranexamic Acid in Revision Total Knee Arthroplasty Reduces Transfusion Rates and May Be Associated With Earlier Recovery

Huerfano, Elina et al.
Knee

Background

The use of tranexamic acid (TXA) has been proved to be effective in reducing blood loss and transfusion requirements after primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA). However, the evidence for its use in revision surgery is scant. We assessed the safety and efficacy of topical TXA in revision TKA.

Methods

We retrospectively compared 76 revision TKA patients who received topical TXA (3 g before tourniquet deflation) “study group” with a historic control group of 205 revision TKA patients in which TXA was not used. Each group was further stratified into subgroups according to the type of revision. All patients were followed for a minimum of 6 weeks. Blood loss, transfusion requirements, changes in hemoglobin-hematocrit levels, Knee Society Score, and complications were recorded.

Results

The mean estimated blood loss, hemoglobin drop, and transfusion rate were significantly lower in the study group than in the control group ( P = .008, P < .001, P < .001, respectively). Hidden blood loss was similar between the 2 groups ( P = .12). Six weeks postoperatively, the improvement in the knee-specific Knee Society Score was significantly higher in the study group than in the control group ( P < .001). No significant differences were found in thromboembolic complications between the 2 groups ( P = .92). In the subgroup analysis, when both components (femur and tibia) were revised, the relative risk of transfusion was significantly lower with the use of TXA (relative risk 0.227, confidence interval 0.0593-0.860, P = .004).

Conclusion

Topical TXA in revision TKA is safe and effective in reducing blood loss and transfusions. This effect is enhanced when both components are revised. Additionally, the use of TXA may improve early outcomes.

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