Background: Evidence increases that a high or a standard dose of tranexamic acid (TA) reduces postpartum bleeding. The TRACES pharmacobiological substudy aims to establish a therapeutic strategy in hemorrhagic (H) Cesarean section (CS) with respect to the intensity of fibrinolysis by using innovative assays.
Method/design: The TRACES trial is a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, TA dose-ranging study that measures simultaneously plasmatic and uterine and urine TA concentrations and the plasmin peak inhibition tested by a simultaneous thrombin plasmin generation assay described by Van Geffen (novel hemostasis assay [NHA]). Patients undergoing H CS (>800 mL) will receive blindly TA 0.5 g or 1 g or placebo. A non-hemorrhagic (NH) group will be recruited to establish plasmin generation profile. Venous blood will be sampled before, at the end, and then at 30, 60, 120, and 360 min after injection. Uterine bleeding will be sampled after injection. Urine will be sampled 2 h and 6 h after injection. The number of patients entered into the study will be 114 H + 48 NH out of the 390 patients of the TRACES clinical trial.
Discussion: To explore the two innovative assays, a preliminary pilot study was conducted. Blood samples were performed repeatedly in patients undergoing either a H (>800 mL) or NH (<800 mL) CS and in non-pregnant women (NP). H patients received TA (0-2 g). Dose-dependent TA plasmatic concentrations were determined by LC-MS/MS quantification. Plasmin generation and its inhibition were tested in vitro and in vivo using the simultaneous thrombin-plasmin generation assay (STPGA). The pilot study included 15 patients in the H group, ten patients in the NH group, and seven patients in the NP group. TA plasmatic concentration showed a dose-dependent variation. STPGA inter-assay variation coefficients were < 20% for all plasmin parameters. Inter-individual dispersion of plasmin generation capacity was higher in H and NH groups than in NP group. Profile evolution over time was different between groups. This preliminary technical validation study allows TRACES pharmacobiological trial to be conducted.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02797119. Registered on 13 June 2016.
Keywords: Cesarean section; D-dimers; Fibrinolysis; Pharmacokinetics; Plasmin; Postpartum hemorrhage; Tranexamic acid.