Efficacy of oral tranexamic acid on blood loss in primary total hip arthroplasty using a direct anterior approach: a prospective randomized controlled trial
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Tranexamic acid (TXA), delivered intravenously or topically, has been shown to reduce blood loss, the need for transfusion, and relevant healthcare costs when administered in primary standard total hip arthroplasty (THA). Whether the same is true of oral TXA is unclear, the purpose of this study was to determine if oral tranexamic acid is equivalent to intravenous TXA in the case of patients undergoing THA via the direct anterior approach.
In this prospective randomized controlled trial, 120 patients undergoing primary THA by the direct anterior approach were randomized to receive oral TXA (two doses of 20 mg/kg), intravenous TXA (two doses of 15 mg/kg), or no TXA. Primary outcomes were haemoglobin drop, haematocrit levels, total blood loss, intra-operative blood loss, need for transfusion, and volume transfused. Secondary outcomes included thromboembolic events, wound complications, the length of post-operative hospital stay, and 30-day readmission.
Demographic characteristics were similar among the three patient groups (p > 0.05, n = 40 per group). Haemoglobin drop, haematocrit levels, total blood loss, and intra-operative blood loss were similar in the oral and intravenous groups (p > 0.05), and significantly smaller than in the control group (p < 0.05). Transfusions were given to significantly fewer patients in the oral group (3%) and intravenous group (6%) than in the control group (27%, p = 0.01). Costs of TXA and transfusions were significantly lower in the oral group than the intravenous group (p < 0.05). The three groups were similar in thromboembolic events, wound complications, the length of post-operative hospital stay, and 30-day readmission (p > 0.05).
Oral TXA shows similar efficacy and safety as intravenous TXA for reducing haemoglobin drop, haematocrit levels, total blood loss, and transfusion rate following THA by the direct anterior approach. Therefore, the much less-expensive oral formulation may be superior to the intravenous form.
KeywordsTranexamic acid Oral administration Total hip arthroplasty Direct anterior approach Blood loss
This research did not receive financial support from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
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