OBJECTIVE To evaluate the efficacy and safety of topical glucocorticoids for total hip arthroplasty by meta-analysis. METHODS A computerized search of the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PubMed English databases, as well as Chinese Biomedical Literature Database, vipu Chinese Science and Technology Journal Database, Wanfang database, and Chinese Knowledge Net Database, was performed to include all randomized controlled trials (RCTs)
regarding topical glucocorticoid therapy for postoperative bleeding after THA according to the inclusion criteria. The quality evaluation criteria of RCTs, as stated in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions 4.2.5, were adopted for evaluation, and the meta-analysis was performed using RevMan 5.3. RESULTS A total of 10 articles were included, including 1,112 patients: 566 in the topical glucocorticoid group and 546 in the control group. The transfusion rate was 8.43% for topical glucocorticoids and 30.05% for the control group (P < 0.001), and topical glucocorticoids reduced 317.89 ml total blood loss and 76.82 ml invisible blood loss, with statistically significant differences (P < 0.001). The amount of intraoperative blood loss was reduced by topical glucocorticoids, but the difference was not statistically significant (P=0.83), and the postoperative HB value was increased by topical glucocorticoids, although the difference was statistically significant (P < 0.001). The incidence of DVT and PE after topical glucocorticoid application (3.03%) was greater than that of the control group (2.40%), the difference was not statistically significant (P=0.54), and the incidence of infection after topical glucocorticoid application (3.03%) was greater than that of the control group (2.40%). The difference was not statistically significant (P=0.39). CONCLUSIONS Topical glucocorticoids can reduce the transfusion rate and blood loss in THA patients without increasing their risk of thrombosis.