Marek Lacko, Robert Cellar, Daniela Schreierova, Gabriel Vasko

Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology of Locomotors Apparatus, Medical Faculty of Pavol Jozef Safárik University and University Hospital of L. Pasteur, Kosice, Slovakia

Keywords: Arthroplasty; knee; replacement; tranexamic acid.


Objectives: This study aims to compare the efficacy and safety of intra-articular tranexamic acid (TA) versus intravenous (IV) TA in the reduction of perioperative blood loss and the degree of early postoperative complications associated with primary unilateral cemented total knee replacement.
Patients and methods: This prospective randomized study included 90 patients (36 males, 54 females; mean age 68.7 years; range 47 to 82 years) with knee osteoarthritis undergoing a unilateral cemented total knee replacement. Patients were randomized into three groups: group 1 received TA intravenously (dose 10 mg/kg) 20 minutes preoperatively and three hours after first dose, group 2 received TA (dose 3 g) locally (intra-articular) into surgical site, and group 3 did not receive TA. We measured perioperative blood loss, volume of drained blood in 24 hours postoperatively, overall blood loss, decrease in hemoglobin and hematocrit levels, and amount of blood transfusion.
Results: There were no differences between the groups in terms of patient preoperative demographics. Local or IV administration of TA significantly reduced the number of blood transfusions and blood losses in drainage. Intravenous application of TA was associated with statistically significantly higher hemoglobin and hematocrit levels and lower overall postoperative blood losses. No serious complications were observed in any of the groups.
Conclusion: Intra-articular TA was equally effective as IV regimen in reducing the number of blood transfusions. However, IV administration of TA was associated with overall lower blood loss. Our results showed that IV administration of TA during total knee replacement is superior compared to intra-articular administration of TA.