Han X, Gong G, Han N, et al. Efficacy and safety of oral compared with intravenous tranexamic acid in reducing blood loss after primary total knee and hip arthroplasty: a meta-analysis. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2018 Dec 3;19(1):430. doi: 10.1186/s12891-018-2358-2. (Systematic review)

BACKGROUND: Tranexamic acid (TXA) is an anti-fibrinolytic agent successfully preventing blood loss when using intravenously (IV) in total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA). An oral administration, which is available on blood sparing, has been reported exhibit profound cost-saving benefits. The aim of this meta-analysis is to investigate whether the administration of oral and intravenous tranexamic acid postoperatively has equivalent blood-sparing properties in these patients.

METHODS: The online electronic databases were searched for eligible literatures updated on September 2018. Studies assessing the effect between oral TXA and intravenous TXA (IV-TXA) in those undergoing TKA or THA were included. All the data were pooled with the corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI) using RevMan software. Based on the heterogeneity, we performed a systematic analysis to explore the overall results across the included studies.

RESULTS: Nine studies met our inclusion criteria. No significant differences were identified with regard to the Hb drop (SMD = - 0.03,95%CI = - 0.18-0.12, P = 0.67), total Hb loss (SMD = 0.10,95%CI = - 0.06-0.26, P = 0.24), total blood loss (SMD = - 0.00,95%CI = - 0.20-0.20, P = 1.00), transfusion rate (OR = 0.77,95%CI = 0.54-1.10, P = 0.14), DVT rate (OR = 0.58,95%CI = 0.19-1.75, P = 0.33), and length of hospital stay (SMD = - 0.05,95%CI = - 0.28-0.17, P = 0.63) between the oral groups and intravenous group.

CONCLUSION: The blood-sparing efficacy of oral TXA is similar to that of the intravenous forms in the setting of THA and TKA. Considering the cost-benefit superiority and ease of administration of oral TXA, further studies and clinical trials are required to further identify the optimal administration for THA and TKA.

Discipline Area Score
Physician 6 / 7
Comments from MORE raters

Physician rater

It would be important to know how many hours before surgery the oral TXA was given.

Physician rater

This meta-analysis supports the concept that oral Tranexamic acid (TXA) is similar to the intravenous (IV) form in the setting of total hip arthroplasty and total knee arthroplasty. The results of this study suggested that no significant differences were found in blood-sparing management between oral and IV TXA. Importantly, the two routes of administration of TXA were similar in terms of the risk of deep venous thrombosis.
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