Introduction: Epistaxis is a very common presentation in the emergency department (ED), accounting for approximately 1 in 200 ED visits in the United States. Currently, standard practice includes the initial use of topical anesthetics and vasoconstrictors, followed by more invasive treatments such as nasal packing, cauterization or surgical ligation for refractory cases. Over the years several studies have investigated the potential use of topical Tranexamic Acid (TXA) in the management of epistaxis. We have conducted a meta-analysis to assess the efficacy of topical TXA versus other standard practices or placebo in the management of epistaxis.
Methods: PubMed and Scopus databases were searched from inception to April 2021. We included randomized controlled trials and observational studies investigating the efficacy of TXA in bleeding cessation in epistaxis in adults. The primary outcome measured was the prevalence of bleeding cessation after treatment at first assessment. Other outcomes were bleeding reoccurrence between 24 and 72 h and at 7-8 days. A random-effects model was used to estimate odds ratio (OR) for outcomes.
Results: A total of eight studies were included in the analysis, including seven randomized trials and one retrospective study. We included a total of 1299 patients, 596 (46%) received TXA while 703 (54%) received control treatment (placebo, lidocaine plus vasoconstrictors or local anesthetics). Patients who were treated with TXA were 3.5 times (OR 3.5, 95% CI 1.3-9.7) more likely to achieve bleeding cessation at the first assessment. Patients treated with TXA had 63% (OR 0.37, 95% CI 0.20-0.66) less likelihood of returning due to rebleeding at 24-72 h.
Conclusion: Topical TXA is associated with better bleeding cessation rates after treatment compared to the standard practices.
Keywords: Emergency department; Epistaxis; Nasal bleeding; TXA; Tranexamic acid.
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