The effect of tranexamic acid in unilateral and bilateral total knee arthroplasty in the South Asian population: A retrospective cohort study

Document Type



Orthopaedic Surgery


Together with evidence of higher bleeding tendencies, the vulnerability of the South-Asian population to anemia secondary to a higher prevalence of hemoglobinopathies and micronutrient deficiencies merits further exploration of the effects of tranexamic acid on this population. Additionally, limited access to self-care facilities and certain sociocultural beliefs and practices may not be conducive to a speedy recovery from surgical complications. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of intraoperative administration of tranexamic acid during total knee arthroplasty when considering the South-Asian population. METHODOLOGY:
Medical record files of 355 patients who underwent total knee arthroplasty (2007-2015) were reviewed to collect data regarding patient characteristics, surgical variables and post-operative complications. Unilateral and Bilateral total knee arthroplasty were studied separately. Analysis was done using t-test, Mann-Whitney U test, chi-square and Fisher's exact square where appropriate. The threshold for significance was p < 0.05.
The study showed that for unilateral surgery, tranexamic acid caused a significant reduction in estimated blood loss (p-value=0.011), total operative time, calculated blood loss, and hemoglobin change (p-value<0.001) whereas in bilateral surgery, tranexamic acid only caused a significant reduction in calculated blood loss (p-value < 0.001) and hemoglobin change (p-value=0.001). Interestingly, in those who received tranexamic acid vs. those who did not, there was a significant increase in length of hospital stay (p<0.001) and special care unit admissions (p-value=0.033) in unilateral and bilateral surgery respectively.
Although tranexamic acid effectively reduces intraoperative blood loss, it does not have an effect on the need for post-operative blood transfusions. The increased length of stay and special care unit admissions associated with tranexamic acid use should be explored further to reveal the complete safety profile of tranexamic acid administration in the South-Asian population during total knee arthroplasty.25


International journal of surgery