Left ventricle thrombus after tranexamic acid for spine surgery in an HIV-positive patient

Neal Stuart Gerstein, Janet Kathryn Brierley, Matthew Douglas Culling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background Context Our case highlights the underappreciated thrombotic risks of tranexamic acid (TXA) use in non-cardiac surgery and emphasizes the need to elucidate these risks with appropriate clinical trials. Purpose The use of TXA in non-cardiac surgery has significantly expanded in the past 5 years, especially after the 2010 publication of the CRASH-2 Trial. We submit a case with the intent to highlight the thrombotic risk of TXA use during non-cardiac surgery and discuss the need for careful risk stratification before the use of TXA in this context. Study Design A 66-year-old man with long-standing HIV infection, hypertension, and no history of coronary artery disease (CAD) presented for revision spinal fusion surgery with the use of TXA is presented. Methods To limit perioperative blood loss, the case patient received TXA intraoperatively. His operative course was uneventful. Results During the first 12 hours postoperatively the patient was noted to have persistent tachycardia and ST-elevation on electrocardiogram. Echocardiography showed a new apical wall motion abnormality and a left ventricle thrombus; cardiac catheterization confirmed two-vessel CAD, treated with a bare-metal stent and anticoagulation. Conclusions The thrombotic risks of TXA use in non-cardiac surgery have yet to be adequately studied in clinical trials. Hence, TXA use in this context is still an area of uncertainty, and its thrombogenic risks have yet to be studied as a primary outcome in any large prospective trial to date. Patients with any hypercoagulable risk factors, including HIV infection or any prior thrombotic history in which TXA use is being considered, should prompt a discussion among the perioperative physicians involved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e77-e82
JournalSpine Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • HIV
  • Hypercoagulable
  • Left ventricle thrombus
  • Spine surgery
  • Tranexamic acid


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