Tranexamic acid for preventing postpartum blood loss after cesarean delivery: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2016 Jan;95(1):28-37. doi: 10.1111/aogs.12798. Epub 2015 Nov 12.


Introduction: There are several published clinical trials of the use of tranexamic acid (TXA) in an obstetric setting, but no consensus on its use or guidelines for management.

Material and methods: The aim of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the effectiveness of TXA in reducing blood loss when given prior to cesarean delivery. We performed a systematic search in electronic databases. We included all randomized controlled trials comparing the use of TXA prior to cesarean delivery with controls (either placebo or no treatment).

Results: Nine trials with 2365 women were included in the analysis. Women who received TXA had significantly less postpartum blood loss, a lower drop in hemoglobin and a lower incidence of postpartum hemorrhage and severe postpartum hemorrhage compared with controls. Moreover, the number of women who needed additional uterotonic agents was significantly lower in the TXA group than in controls. The percentage of women who required blood transfusions at, or immediately after, cesareans was significantly lower in the intervention group than in the controls. There was no difference in the incidence of thromboembolic events in the two groups.

Conclusions: Prophylactic TXA given before cesarean skin incision in women undergoing cesarean delivery, under spinal or epidural anesthesia, significantly decreases blood loss, including postpartum hemorrhage and severe postpartum hemorrhage, in addition to the standard prophylactic oxytocin given after delivery of the neonate. The effect of TXA on thromboembolic events and mortality as well as its use in high-risk women should be investigated further.

Keywords: Tranexamic acid; cesarean delivery; postpartum hemorrhage.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antifibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Transfusion / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Oxytocics / administration & dosage
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage / blood
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage / prevention & control*
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage / blood
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage / prevention & control*
  • Pregnancy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Tranexamic Acid / therapeutic use*


  • Antifibrinolytic Agents
  • Hemoglobins
  • Oxytocics
  • Tranexamic Acid