INTRODUCTION Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) is the standard of care for the treatment of large renal stones. Bleeding-related complications remain a major concern when performing this procedure. Tranexamic acid (TXA) has recently been studied in both urologic and non-urologic procedures to reduce bleeding, transfusions and complications. MATERIAL AND METHODS In June 2021 a systematic review was conducted following PRISMA guidelines on
randomized prospective studies comparing the effects of TXA on bleeding complications during PCNL. Data was analyzed using Review Manager 5.3. RESULTS Eight studies were included with a total 1,201 patients, of which 598 received TXA and 603 received placebo. TXA was associated with less bleeding (decreased change in hemoglobin) -0.79 Hb g/dl [-1.09, -0.65] p <.00001 and decreased transfusion rates (OR 0.31 [0.18, 0.52] p <0.0001). This was also associated with lower complication rates, both minor, major and overall, OR 0.59[0.41, .85] p = 0.005, OR 0.31 [0.17, 0.56] p = 0.0001 and OR 0.40 [0.29, 0.56] p <0.00001 respectively. TXA was also associated with improved stone-free rates as compared with placebo (OR 1.79 [1.23, 2.62] p = 0.003). TXA resulted in shorter operative times (11.51 minutes [-16.25, -6.77] p =.001) and length of stay (-0.74 days [-1.13 -0.34] p = 0.0006). Two pulmonary embolisms were registered in a single study in the TXA group. CONCLUSIONS In this meta-analysis, the use of TXA during PCNL was associated with a statistically significant reduction in the following parameters when compared with placebo: change in hemoglobin, transfusion rates, complication rates, operative time, and length of stay. It was also associated with improvement in stone-free rates. These data should be considered by surgeons performing PCNL.