The effect of tranexamic acid on local and plasma fibrinolysis during total knee arthroplasty

Thromb Res. 1997 Feb 1;85(3):195-206. doi: 10.1016/s0049-3848(97)00004-2.


The aim of the present study was to investigate aspects of coagulation and fibrinolysis during knee arthroplasties in order to find out. 1. whether an increased fibrinolysis is correlated to an increased blood loss 2. whether there is a difference in markers for coagulation and fibrinolysis in peripheral venous blood compared to those in blood from the wounds 3. whether the administration of tranexamic acid modifies the fibrinolytic response. Twenty-four patients were included. Twelve patients were given tranexamic acid intravenously at the end of the operation. The dose was repeated three hours later. The other 12 patients were given an equivalent amount of placebo. The administration was randomised and double-blind. Levels of prothrombin fragments 1 + 2, D-dimers, plasminogen, alpha 2-antiplasmin, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), and plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) in venous blood were investigated just before the operation, at the end of the operation and three hours later. At the end of the operation blood for analysis was also drawn from the wound. Coagulation and fibrinolysis was activated during and after surgery. The activation was significantly higher in blood from the wounds than in peripheral venous blood. We found no direct correlation between the degree of fibrinolysis and blood loss. The administration of tranexamic acid reduced fibrinolysis in the wounds but not in peripheral venous blood. The postoperative blood loss was reduced by half.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antifibrinolytic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Fibrinolysis / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications / blood*
  • Intraoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Knee Prosthesis*
  • Male
  • Tranexamic Acid / pharmacology*


  • Antifibrinolytic Agents
  • Tranexamic Acid