Do we really need tranexamic acid in total hip arthroplasty? A meta-analysis of nineteen randomized controlled trials
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- Zhou, X., Tao, L., Li, J. et al. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg (2013) 133: 1017. doi:10.1007/s00402-013-1761-2
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Studies have shown that tranexamic acid reduces blood loss and transfusion need in patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty. However, no to date, no study has been large enough to determine definitively whether the drug is safe and effective. We examined whether intravenous tranexamic acid, when compared with placebo, was safe and effective in total hip arthroplasty.
The literature search was conducted using the PubMed, Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) databases. Data were evaluated using the generic evaluation tool designed by the Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group. Ultimately, 19 randomized controlled trials involving 1,030 patients were included.
The use of tranexamic acid significantly reduced total blood loss by a mean of 305.27 mL [95 % confidence interval (CI) −397.66 to −212.89, p < 0.001], intraoperative blood loss by a mean of 86.33 mL(95 % CI −152.29 to −20.37, p = 0.01), postoperative blood loss by a mean of 176.79 mL (95 % CI −236.78 to −116.39, p < 0.001), and “hidden” blood loss by a mean of 152.70 mL (95 % CI −187.98 to −117.42, p < 0.001), resulting in a meaningful reduction in the proportion of patients requiring blood transfusion (odds ratio 0.28, 95 % CI 0.19 to 0.42, p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in occurrence of deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, or other complications among the study groups, or cost or hospitalization duration.
The data from this meta-analysis indicate that intravenous tranexamic acid may reduce blood loss and transfusion need in patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty without increasing the risk of complications. However, high-quality randomized controlled trials are required to validate the results.