Ventriculolumbar perfusion and inhalational anesthesia with sevoflurane in an accidental intrathecal injection of tranexamic acid: unreported treatment options

Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2022 Jan;47(1):65-68. doi: 10.1136/rapm-2021-102498. Epub 2021 Sep 14.


Background: Tranexamic acid (TXA) decreases hemorrhage-related mortality in trauma patients and is increasingly being used during obstetric and orthopedic surgeries. Inadvertent intrathecal injection of TXA is a rare, potentially lethal event leading to dose-dependent cardiotoxicity and neurotoxicity. TXA enhances neuronal excitation by antagonizing inhibitory γ-aminobutyric acid type A and glycine receptors. Until now, mechanistic-based pharmacological treatments targeting multiple central nervous system receptors have been advocated for use in such cases, with no data on intrathecal TXA elimination techniques.

Case presentation: A patient scheduled for hip surgery accidentally received 350 mg of intrathecal TXA instead of levobupivacaine. The clinical picture progressed from spinal segmental myoclonus to generalized convulsions and malignant arrhythmias. The treatment consisted of ventriculolumbar perfusion with normal saline at a rate of 50 mL/hour starting 5 hours after TXA administration and inhalational sedation with sevoflurane, in addition to drugs acting on multiple receptors at different central nervous system levels. Over 2 months the neurological status improved, although it was not complete.

Conclusions: For the first time, the feasibility and possible clinical efficacy of combined treatment with ventriculolumbar perfusion and inhalational sedation with sevoflurane were demonstrated. A referral to a neurosurgical facility is recommended in patients with acute TXA-induced neurotoxicity and cardiotoxicity.

Keywords: ambulatory care; diagnostic techniques and procedures; drug-related side effects and adverse reactions; injections; neurotoxicity syndromes; spinal.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia*
  • Anesthetics, Inhalation* / adverse effects
  • Cardiotoxicity / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Injections, Spinal
  • Perfusion
  • Sevoflurane / adverse effects
  • Tranexamic Acid* / adverse effects


  • Anesthetics, Inhalation
  • Sevoflurane
  • Tranexamic Acid