A Randomized Controlled Trial of Low-Dose Tranexamic Acid versus Placebo to Reduce Red Blood Cell Transfusion During Complex Multilevel Spine Fusion Surgery

Northwestern High Risk Spine Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Multilevel spine fusion surgery for adult deformity correction is associated with significant blood loss and coagulopathy. Tranexamic acid reduces blood loss in high-risk surgery, but the efficacy of a low-dose regimen is unknown. Methods: Sixty-one patients undergoing multilevel complex spinal fusion with and without osteotomies were randomly assigned to receive low-dose tranexamic acid (10 mg/kg loading dose, then 1 mg·kg−1·hr−1 throughout surgery) or placebo. The primary outcome was the total volume of red blood cells transfused intraoperatively. Results: Thirty-one patients received tranexamic acid, and 30 patients received placebo. Patient demographics, risk of major transfusion, preoperative hemoglobin, and surgical risk of the 2 groups were similar. There was a significant decrease in total volume of red blood cells transfused (placebo group median 1460 mL vs. tranexamic acid group 1140 mL; median difference 463 mL, 95% confidence interval 15 to 914 mL, P = 0.034), with a decrease in cell saver transfusion (placebo group median 490 mL vs. tranexamic acid group 256 mL; median difference 166 mL, 95% confidence interval 0 to 368 mL, P = 0.042). The decrease in packed red blood cell transfusion did not reach statistical significance (placebo group median 1050 mL vs. tranexamic acid group 600 mL; median difference 300 mL, 95% confidence interval 0 to 600 mL, P = 0.097). Conclusions: Our results support the use of low-dose tranexamic acid during complex multilevel spine fusion surgery to decrease total red blood cell transfusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e572-e579
JournalWorld neurosurgery
Volume110
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Conflict of interest statement: This study was funded by the Melissa Fragen Faculty Development Research Award from the Department of Anesthesiology, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.

Keywords

  • Complex spine fusion
  • Tranexamic acid

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