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World J Orthop. 2015 Aug 18;6(7):521-7. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v6.i7.521. eCollection 2015 Aug 18.

Can tranexamic acid change preoperative anemia management during total joint arthroplasty?

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1
Duy L Phan, Ran Schwarzkopf, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, Irvine, CA 92868, United States.

Abstract

AIM:

To investigate the postoperative transfusion and complication rates of anemic and nonanemic total joint arthroplasty patients given tranexamic acid (TXA).

METHODS:

A cross-sectional prospective study was conducted of primary hip and knee arthroplasty cases performed from 11/2012 to 6/2014. Exclusion criteria included revision arthroplasty, bilateral arthroplasty, acute arthroplasty after fracture, and contraindication to TXA. Patients were screened prior to surgery, with anemia was defined as hemoglobin of less than 12 g/dL for females and of less than 13 g/dL for males. Patients were divided into four different groups, based on the type of arthroplasty (total hip or total knee) and hemoglobin status (anemic or nonanemic). Intraoperatively, all patients received 2 g of intravenous TXA during surgery. Postoperatively, allogeneic blood transfusion (ABT) was directed by both clinical symptoms and relative hemoglobin change. Complications were recorded within the first two weeks after surgery and included thromboembolism, infection, and wound breakdown. The differences in transfusion and complication rates, as well as the relative hemoglobin change, were compared between anemic and nonanemic groups.

RESULTS:

A total of 232 patients undergoing primary joint arthroplasty were included in the study. For the total hip arthroplasty cohort, 21% (18/84) of patients presented with preoperative anemia. Two patients in the anemic group and two patients in the nonanemic group needed ABTs; this was not significantly different (P = 0.20). One patient in the anemic group presented with a deep venous thromboembolism while no patients in the nonanemic group had an acute complication; this was not significantly different (P = 0.21). For nonanemic patients, the average change in hemoglobin was 2.73 ± 1.17 g/dL. For anemic patients, the average change in hemoglobin was 2.28 ± 0.96 g/dL. Between the two groups, the hemoglobin difference of 0.45 g/dL was not significant (P = 0.13). For the total knee arthroplasty cohort, 18% (26/148) of patients presented with preoperative anemia. No patients in either group required a blood transfusion or had an acute postoperative complication. For nonanemic patients, the average change in hemoglobin was 1.85 ± 0.79 g/dL. For anemic patients, the average change in hemoglobin was 1.09 ± 0.58 g/dL. Between the two groups, the hemoglobin difference of 0.76 g/dL was significant (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION:

TXA administration results in low transfusion and complication rates and may be a useful adjunct for TJA patients with preoperative anemia.

KEYWORDS:

Preoperative anemia; Total hip replacement; Total knee replacement; Tranexamic acid

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