Clinical trial on the effect of tranexamic acid on bleeding and fibrinolysis in primary hip and knee replacement

Rev Esp Anestesiol Reanim (Engl Ed). Jun-Jul 2019;66(6):299-306. doi: 10.1016/j.redar.2019.01.011. Epub 2019 Mar 20.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Background: Tourniquet-induced ischaemia could increase fibrinolysis and enhance tranexamic acid (TXA) efficacy in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) compared to total hip arthroplasty (THA). The aims of this study are to compare the effect of TXA on bleeding and fibrinolysis in both types of surgery, and to record thromboembolic complications.

Methods: A prospective double-blind study was conducted on patients scheduled for TKA or THA who received TXA (2 bolus of 10mg/kg) or placebo. Bleeding and fibrinolysis were evaluated. Doppler-ultrasound and computed tomography were performed in order to assess any thromboembolic complications.

Results: A total of 44 patients were included (11 THA and 11 TKA treated with TXA; 11 THA and 11 TKA as controls). Blood losses were significantly lower in the TXA group (mean 921mL vs 1,383mL in THA and 969mL vs 1,223mL in TKA), and no transfusions were needed with TXA, whereas 5 blood units were transfused in controls. TXA was equally effecting in reducing bleeding in both surgeries (33% in THA and 21% in TKA). The significant mean increase in D-dimers from baseline to 6 hours after surgery (1,004 ug/L to 10,284 ug/L in THA and 571 ug/L to 6,480 ug/L in TKA) was attenuated by TXA (1,077 ug/L to 2,590 ug/L in THA and 655 ug/L to 2,535 ug/L in TKA). There were no differences in thromboembolic episodes.

Conclusions: Prophylactic use of tranexamic acid is equally effective in reducing bleeding in TKA and THA. Both surgeries have a similar effect on fibrinolysis.

Keywords: Artroplastia de cadera; Artroplastia de rodilla; Blood-coagulation; Blood-loss; Blood-transfusion; Coagulación; Hip replacement; Knee replacement; Sangrado; Thrombosis; Transfusión sanguínea; Trombosis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antifibrinolytic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antifibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee*
  • Blood Loss, Surgical / prevention & control*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Fibrinolysis / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tranexamic Acid / pharmacology
  • Tranexamic Acid / therapeutic use*


  • Antifibrinolytic Agents
  • Tranexamic Acid