Effect of Tranexamic Acid on Blood Loss After Reverse Total Shoulder Arthroplasty According to the Administration Method: A Prospective, Multicenter, Randomized, Controlled Study

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2020 Jun;29(6):1087-1095. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2020.02.013.


Background: The ideal method of administering tranexamic acid (TXA) for reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) remains unknown. We aimed to evaluate TXA efficacy according to 3 administration methods after RTSA.

Methods: Overall, 102 patients who underwent RTSA using a single implant between September 2016 and November 2018 were randomized to the following groups according to the TXA administration method: intravenous (n = 34; 1 g + 0.9% normal saline 100 mL), topical (n = 33; 2 g + 0.9% normal saline 50 mL), and combined groups (n = 34). Patients were enrolled in 4 tertial referral hospitals for prospective multicenter studies. The primary outcome was a hemoglobin decrease in 24 hours postoperatively; secondary outcomes were total drain volume, transfusion rate, and calculated total blood loss.

Results: Demographic data, including preoperative hemoglobin levels, were not different among the 3 groups, but the average age was higher in the combined group (P = .038). Hemoglobin decrease (1.8 ± 1.1 vs. 1.8 ± 1.0 vs. 2.0 ± 1.1 g/dL, P = .769), total drain volume (209.2 ± 147.6 vs. 167.2 ± 102.0 vs. 166.0 ± 118.7, P = .270), and total blood loss (701.1 ± 352.3 vs. 656.5 ± 285.6 vs. 699.0 ± 248.7 mL, P = .810) were not significantly different among the 3 groups (all P > .05). The transfusion rate was higher in the intravenous group (n = 4), whereas only 1 patient had transfusion in the topical group and none in the combined group, although the difference was not statistically significant (P = .084).

Conclusion: Blood loss did not differ among TXA administration methods after RTSA. However, considering the risk of complication in intravenous TXA, topical TXA after RTSA may be safer, even for patients with normal risk for venous thromboembolic complication.

Keywords: Reverse total shoulder arthroplasty; blood loss; blood transfusion; hemoglobin; intravenous; topical; tranexamic acid.