The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 35, Issue 1, 45 - 51.e3

Tranexamic Acid Administration Is Not Associated With an Increase in Complications in High-Risk Patients Undergoing Primary Total Knee or Total Hip Arthroplasty: A Retrospective Case-Control Study of 38,220 Patients

Porter, Steven B. et al.
Hip Knee


Tranexamic acid (TXA) administration to reduce postoperative blood loss and transfusion is a well-established practice for total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and total hip arthroplasty (THA). However, clinical concerns remain about the safety of TXA in patients with a history of a prothrombotic condition. We sought to determine the risk of complications between high-risk and low-risk TKA and THA patients receiving TXA.


We retrospectively reviewed 38,220 patients (8877 high-risk cases) who underwent primary TKA and THA between 2011 and 2017 at our institution. Intravenous TXA was administered in 20,501 (54%) of cases. The rates of thrombotic complications (deep vein thrombosis [DVT], pulmonary embolism [PE], myocardial infarction [MI], and cerebrovascular accident [CVA]) as well as mortality and readmission were assessed at 90 days postoperatively. Additionally, we evaluated 90-day postoperative occurrence of DVT and PE separate from occurrence of MI and CVA. Patients were categorized as high risk if they had a past medical history of a prothrombotic condition prior to surgery.


There was no significant difference in the odds of these adverse outcomes between high-risk patients who received TXA and high-risk patients who did not receive TXA (odds ratio [OR] 1.00, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.85-1.18). There were also no differences when evaluating the odds of 90-day postoperative DVT and PE (OR 0.84, 95% CI 0.59-1.19) nor MI and CVA (OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.56-1.49) for high-risk patients receiving TXA vs high-risk patients who did not receive TXA.


TXA administration to high-risk TKA and THA patients is not associated with a statistically significant difference in adverse outcomes. We present incremental evidence in support of TXA administration for high-risk patients undergoing primary arthroplasties.

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