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J Arthroplasty. 2020 Jan;35(1):45-51.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2019.08.015. Epub 2019 Aug 17.

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.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL.
Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL.



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.


perioperative medicine; total hip arthroplasty; total joint arthroplasty; total knee arthroplasty; tranexamic acid


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