Tranexamic acid reduced the percent of total blood volume lost during adolescent idiopathic scoliosis surgery

Kristen E. Jones, Elissa K. Butler, Tara Barrack, Charles T. Ledonio, Mary L. Forte, Claudia S. Cohn, David W. Polly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background Multilevel posterior spine fusion is associated with significant intraoperative blood loss. Tranexamic acid is an antifibrinolytic agent that reduces intraoperative blood loss. The goal of this study was to compare the percent of total blood volume lost during posterior spinal fusion (PSF) with or without tranexamic acid in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). Methods Thirty-six AIS patients underwent PSF in 2011-2014; the last half (n=18) received intraoperative tranexamic acid. We retrieved relevant demographic, hematologic, intraoperative and outcomes information from medical records. The primary outcome was the percent of total blood volume lost, calculated from estimates of intraoperative blood loss (numerator) and estimated total blood volume per patient (denominator, via Nadler's equations). Unadjusted outcomes were compared using standard statistical tests. Results Tranexamic acid and no-tranexamic acid groups were similar (all p > 0.05) in mean age (16.1 vs. 15.2 years), sex (89% vs. 83% female), body mass index (22.2 vs. 20.2 kg/m2), preoperative hemoglobin (13.9 vs. 13.9 g/dl), mean spinal levels fused (10.5 vs. 9.6), osteotomies (1.6 vs. 0.9) and operative duration (6.1 hours, both). The percent of total blood volume lost (TBVL) was significantly lower in the tranexamic acid-treated vs. no-tranexamic acid group (median 8.23% vs. 14.30%, p = 0.032); percent TBVL per level fused was significantly lower with tranexamic acid than without it (1.1% vs. 1.8%, p=0.048). Estimated blood loss (milliliters) was similar across groups. Conclusions Tranexamic acid significantly reduced the percentage of total blood volume lost versus no tranexamic acid in AIS patients who underwent PSF using a standardized blood loss measure. Level of Evidence: 3. Institutional Review Board status: This medical record chart review (minimal risk) study was approved by the University of Minnesota Institutional Review Board.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-217
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Spine Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dr. Ledonio is a consultant to Greatbatch, Inc.; he has received research grants through the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation, Department of Defense, Scoliosis Research Society, AOSpine, Medtronic and the University of Minnesota. Dr. Cohn has received research funding and honoraria from Fenwal (a Fresenius-Kabi Company), research funding from Octapharma, and research fund- ing and consulting fees from Ortho Diagnostics. No conflicts of interest were declared by the remaining authors.


  • Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
  • Blood loss
  • Posterior spinal fusion
  • Tranexamic acid


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