The effect of tranexamic acid on blood loss and transfusion rate in primary total knee arthroplasty

J Arthroplasty. 2013 Aug;28(7):1080-3. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2012.11.016. Epub 2013 Mar 28.


Allogeneic blood transfusions remain common in primary total knee arthroplasty. We reviewed our experience with 2269 consecutive primary total knee arthroplasties in 2069 patients over a 3.5 year period. In our cohort, 1838 received no TXA, 330 received TXA via IV infusion, and 130 had TXA applied topically. The need for blood transfusion, as well as hematocrit levels immediately after surgery in the recovery room and the day of discharge were recorded. Tranexamic acid infusion demonstrated a statistically significant decrease in blood transfusion (P=0.001), as did topical application of TXA (P=0.019). The transfusion rate without TXA was 6.5% (120/1839) but only 0.3% (1/330) with TXA infusion. There were no transfusions (0/130) with topical TXA. Statistical differences were also noted in both immediate post operative and day of discharge hematocrit levels in patients having TXA infusion while those values for patients with TXA irrigation failed to obtain statistical significance. No significant change in the rate of symptomatic deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism was noted.

Keywords: blood loss; hematocrit; total knee arthroplasty; tranexamic acid; transfusion rate.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antifibrinolytic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee*
  • Blood Loss, Surgical / prevention & control*
  • Blood Loss, Surgical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Blood Transfusion / statistics & numerical data*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Hematocrit
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tranexamic Acid / administration & dosage*


  • Antifibrinolytic Agents
  • Tranexamic Acid