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Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2012 Sep;20(9):1742-52. doi: 10.1007/s00167-011-1754-z. Epub 2011 Nov 8.

The effect of tranexamic acid on blood loss and use of blood products in total knee arthroplasty: a meta-analysis.

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Department of Hematology and Rheumatology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University, 20 Chazhong Road, Fuzhou 350005, Fujian Province, China.



Studies have shown that tranexamic acid (TXA) reduces blood loss and transfusion need in patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA). However, no single study has been large enough to definitively determine whether the drug is safe and effective. We report a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials evaluating the efficacy and safety of TXA in reducing blood loss and transfusion in TKA.


A comprehensive literature search was done in Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CNKI. Two reviewers independently identified the eligible studies, assessed their methodological quality, and extracted data. The data were evaluated using the generic evaluation tool designed by the Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group. The relevant data were analyzed using RevMan 5.0.


Fifteen randomized controlled trials involving 842 patients were included. The use of TXA reduced total blood loss by a mean of 487 ml [95% confidence interval (CI) -629 to -344], intra-operative blood loss by a mean of 127 ml (95% CI -313-59), and post-operative blood loss by a mean of 245 ml (95% CI -410 to -80). TXA led to a significant reduction in the proportion of patients requiring blood transfusion (risk difference -0.4). There were no significant differences in deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism, or other complications among the study groups.


Meta-analysis indicates that TXA may reduce post-operative, total blood loss and transfusion in patients undergoing TKA. TXA led to a significant reduction in the proportion of patients requiring blood transfusion.


Therapeutic study (Systematic review of Level I studies with inconsistent results), Level II.

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