Study objective: To determine the effectiveness of intranasal topical application of tranexamic acid in reducing the need for anterior nasal packing and determine the number of episodes of rebleeding in adult patients presenting with spontaneous atraumatic anterior epistaxis.
Methods: This study was a double-blind randomized trial conducted from September to November 2021 in the ears, nose, and throat (ENT) emergency department (ED), Khalili Hospital, Shiraz, Iran. Cotton pledgets soaked in either phenylephrine and lidocaine (control group) or tranexamic acid with phenylephrine and lidocaine (intervention group) were inserted into the patients' nostrils for 15 minutes. The primary outcome was the need for anterior nasal packing. The secondary outcomes were staying in the ED for more than 2 hours, needing electrical cauterization, and rebleeding within 24 hours and 1 to 7 days of the first referral to the ED. The trial was registered with the Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials (IRCT20210403050815N1).
Results: A total of 240 patients (120 in each group) were enrolled in this study. Tranexamic acid was associated with a lower rate of need for anterior nasal packing (50.0% versus 64.2%; odds ratio [OR], 0.56; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.33 to 0.94). There were no significant differences between the 2 groups in terms of the need for electrical cauterization and the rate of rebleeding within 1 to 7 days. Tranexamic acid was associated with a lower rate of stay in the ED for more than 2 hours (9.2% versus 20.8%; OR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.18 to 0.82) and rebleeding in 24 hours (15.0% versus 30%; OR, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.22 to 0.78) compared with the rates in the control group.
Conclusion: Intranasal topical application of tranexamic acid is associated with a lower rate of need for anterior nasal packing and a shortened stay in the ED; it may be considered a part of the treatment for atraumatic anterior epistaxis.
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