Dissolvable intranasal haemostatic agents for acute epistaxis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Liverpool Head and Neck Centre, Aintree University Hospital, Liverpool, UK. Ear, Nose and Throat department, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK. Head and Neck Unit, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK. Ear, Nose and Throat department, Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK. School of Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Clinical otolaryngology : official journal of ENT-UK ; official journal of Netherlands Society for Oto-Rhino-Laryngology & Cervico-Facial Surgery. 2021
INTRODUCTION Nasal packing is the mainstay of epistaxis management; however, packs cause patient discomfort and can lead to hospital admission. Absorbable haemostats provide clotting factors or act as a substrate to stimulate clotting and represent a potential treatment alternative. A systematic review was performed to evaluate the efficacy of topical haemostats in the management of epistaxis. METHODS A systematic literature search of 7 databases was performed. Only eligible randomised controlled-trials (RCTs) and observational studies were included. The primary outcome was short-term haemostatic success (<7 days). Secondary outcomes included long-term haemostatic control (no re-bleeding 7-30 days), patient discomfort and adverse effects. Meta-analysis was performed where possible. RESULTS Of 2,249 records identified, 12 were included in the qualitative synthesis and 4 RCTs were included in meta-analysis. The following haemostats were reported: gelatin-thrombin matrix (n=8), aerosolised/gel tranexamic acid (n=1), cellulose agents (n=2), and fibrin sealants (n=1). Studies involving tranexamic acid on removable delivery devices (e.g. pledgets) were excluded. There was heterogeneity in outcome measures and inclusion criteria (coagulopathies/anticoagulants were excluded in 3 RCTs and 2 observational studies). The short-term haemostatic success varied between studies (13.9% to 100%). No significant post-procedural complications were reported. The meta-analysis favoured absorbable haemostatic agent versus packing (risk ratio 1.20; 95% confidence interval 1.05 to 1.37; p=0.007). The risk of bias across all studies was moderate to high. CONCLUSIONS The evidence suggests haemostatic agents are effective at managing acute epistaxis when compared with nasal packing. More data are required before recommendations can be made regarding management in patients on anticoagulants.
Study details
Study Design : Systematic Review
Language : eng
Credits : Bibliographic data from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine