Inconclusive evidence for the efficacy of tranexamic acid in reducing transfusions, postoperative infection or hematoma formation after primary shoulder arthroplasty: A meta-analysis with trial sequential analysis

Division of Shoulder Surgery, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA. Division of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Hospital Universitario Fundación Santa Fe de Bogotá, Bogota, Colombia.

Shoulder & elbow. 2021;13(1):38-50

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BACKGROUND Tranexamic acid efficacy on clinically relevant adverse outcomes in patients undergoing shoulder arthroplasty has been contradictory. The aim of this review was to analyze whether tranexamic acid administration could decrease transfusions, infection and hematoma formation in patients undergoing shoulder arthroplasty. METHODS PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library were searched up to May 2019 for randomized controlled trials comparing tranexamic acid to placebo in shoulder arthroplasty. Random-effect models were performed to meta-analyze the evidence. Trial sequential analysis was used to calculate and to establish the conclusiveness of the evidence derived from the meta-analysis. RESULTS Four randomized controlled trials comprising 375 patients were included. Meta-analysis showed no effect of tranexamic acid on transfusion rate (RR = 0.48 (adjusted 95% CI 0.05 to 3.85)). The possible effect of tranexamic acid on hematoma formation or infection rates after shoulder arthroplasty is non-estimable with the current evidence. The sample size necessary to reliably determine if tranexamic acid decreases transfusions, infection rates and hematoma formation is not available from the current literature as determined by the trial sequential analysis. DISCUSSION While tranexamic acid has proven its efficacy in decreasing blood loss in shoulder arthroplasty, this meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials clarifies that there is currently no conclusive evidence for a positive effect of tranexamic acid upon transfusion rate, infection rates or hematoma formation in patients undergoing primary shoulder arthroplasty.
Study details
Study Design : Systematic Review
Language : eng
Credits : Bibliographic data from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine