Results from a new study conducted at Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, suggest that a well-known drug may be effective in reducing blood loss and need for transfusion resulting from knee and hip arthroplasty. The medication, tranexamic acid, or TXA, has been in widespread use for the treatment of hemophilia, uterine bleeding, and in heart surgery. Based on a retrospective review of 4,449 patients, the research team concluded that administration of TXA either intravenously or topically reduced blood transfusion rates by more than 50% during joint replacement procedures. The findings were presented earlier this week at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
According to Geoffrey Westrich, MD, senior study author and director of research, adult reconstruction and joint replacement service at HSS, the study was undertaken in response to conflicting information over the safety of TXA, and anti-fibrinolytic whose mechanism of action reduced bleeding, in knee and hip arthroplasty. Dr. Westrich noted that, in addition to confirmation of efficacy, the study found no statistically significant difference in blood clots in patients receiving topical or IV TXA. Read a press release about the study and conclusions here.