Tranexamic acid decreases blood loss in total shoulder arthroplasty and reverse total shoulder arthroplasty

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2016 Oct;25(10):1643-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2016.02.002. Epub 2016 Apr 19.


Background: Efficacy of tranexamic acid (TXA) remains unproven in the setting of shoulder arthroplasty. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of TXA on perioperative blood loss and drain output in patients undergoing primary total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) and reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA).

Methods: We conducted a retrospective comparison of 77 TSAs and 94 RTSAs performed in 168 patients. TXA was administered intravenously in 35 TSA and 42 RTSA patients. Changes in hemoglobin (Hgb), hematocrit (Hct), drain output, and total blood loss were reviewed with univariate analysis and additional multivariate regression examining the cofactors of age, body mass index, American Society of Anesthesiologists status, and gender of each patient.

Results: Use of TXA in TSA led to a significant decrease in total blood loss (679 mL vs. 910 mL; P < .001), change in Hgb (1.8 mg/dL vs. 2.6 mg/dL; P < .001), and drop in Hct (5.2 vs. 7.0; P < .001). Similarly, RTSA also had significantly less total blood loss with the use of TXA (791 mL vs. 959 mL; P < .001), change in Hgb (2.3 mg/dL vs. 2.9 mg/dL; P < .001), and change in Hct (6.4 vs. 8.3; P < .001). TXA also significantly decreased drain output in both TSA (99 mL vs. 235 mL; P < .001) and RTSA (180 mL vs. 370 mL; P < .001).

Conclusions: Use of TXA perioperatively among patients undergoing primary shoulder arthroplasty can decrease perioperative blood loss, change in Hgb and Hct, and postoperative drain output.

Keywords: Shoulder arthroplasty; blood loss; drain output; hematocrit; hemoglobin; reverse shoulder arthroplasty; tranexamic acid.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antifibrinolytic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antifibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Shoulder / adverse effects*
  • Blood Loss, Surgical / prevention & control*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tranexamic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Tranexamic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antifibrinolytic Agents
  • Tranexamic Acid