Introduction: A randomised, double-blind clinical trial was conducted comparing the efficacy of tranexamic acid (TXA) as a single intravenous bolus or a continuous infusion to patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Study hypothesis was that a second dose of TXA would not offer any clinical benefits over the single infusion.
Materials and methods: One hundred and six patients were randomised to a single intraoperative dose of 30 mg/kg tranexamic acid (OS group, n = 54), or to a loading dose of 10 mg/kg tranexamic acid followed 2 h later by a continuous 2 mg/kg/h infusion for 20 h (OD group, n = 52). The primary outcome was blood loss calculated from haematological values and perioperative transfusions. Secondary outcomes included the occurrence of major complications within the first postoperative year.
Results: All patients completed tranexamic acid therapy without adverse events. The mean blood loss was 1,148 ± 585 ml in group OS and 1,196 ± 614 ml in group OD (p = 0.68). No patients received a transfusion. There were no occurrences of major complications up to 6-weeks follow-up.
Conclusions: The study demonstrated that a single bolus of tranexamic acid 30 mg/kg is as effective as a continuous infusion in patients undergoing tranexamic acid. The single application of tranexamic acid as part of routine care is recommended.