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Br J Anaesth. 2006 May;96(5):576-82. Epub 2006 Mar 10.

Efficacy of aminocaproic, tranexamic acids in the control of bleeding during total knee replacement: a randomized clinical trial.

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Servicio de Anestesiología, Reanimación y Clínica del Dolor, Hospital de Mataró Mataró, Barcelona, Spain.



Risks and costs of allogeneic blood transfusions mandate strategies to reduce blood loss in surgery. The objective of this study was to assess the efficacy of antifibrinolytic treatment in reducing perioperative blood loss during total knee replacement.


A double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled clinical trial was carried out on 127 patients undergoing total knee replacement. Patients in the study group received tranexamic acid 10 mg kg(-1) i.v. just before the tourniquet was deflated and 3 h later, or epsilon-aminocaproic acid 100 mg kg(-1) before tourniquet deflation followed by continuous perfusion (1 g h(-1)) during 3 h. External perioperative blood loss was measured and total blood loss was calculated. The number of patients transfused and number of packed red cell (PRC) units transfused was recorded and possible postoperative thromboembolic complications were investigated.


Total blood loss [mean (sd)] was 1099 ml (535) in the group that received antifibrinolytic agents and 1784 ml (660) in the control group (P<0.001). Five patients (7.5%) in the study group and 23 (38.3%) in the control group (P<0.001) received blood transfusions; the first group received a mean of 0.10 PRC unit per patient and the second, 0.58 (P<0.001). Mean reduction in haemoglobin levels (g dl(-1)) between preoperative and fifth day postoperative readings was 2.5 (0.9) in the study group and 3.4 (1.2) in the control group (P<0.001). Clinical assessment did not reveal any thromboembolic complications.


Antifibrinolytic agents produce a significant decrease in blood loss in patients undergoing total knee replacement, reflected in a reduction in the number of blood transfusions required.

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