Department of Adult Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IRN. Student Research Committee, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, IRN. Department of Internal Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IRN.
Background Upper gastrointestinal bleeding (GIB) is an important cause of emergency ward admission. Antifibrinolytic agents including tranexamic acid (TXA) have been used for controlling GIB. However, there have been concerns regarding the safety and efficacy of TXA in patients with GIB. Thus, in this study, we aimed to determine the efficacy of TXA in the treatment of massive upper GIB.
Methodology This double-blind randomized clinical trial was conducted among 86 consecutive patients who were referred to Imam Hossein Hospital in Tehran, Iran from 2018 to 2019 with the chief complaint of massive upper GIB. Patients were chosen to be in the TXA or placebo groups based on a 1:1 allocation using the block randomization method. The rate of rebleeding, need for blood transfusion, hospital stay, adverse effects, and mortality rate were evaluated and compared across the groups. Results Of the 86 patients enrolled in this study, 55.8% (n = 48) were males. The mean age of all patients was 53.1 ± 10.6 years (TXA group: 54.9 ± 11.5 years, and placebo group: 51.4 ± 9.7 years). Rebleeding was seen in 11 (25.6%) patients in the TXA group and in 20 (46.5%) patients in the control group, which was statistically significant (p = 0.043). Blood transfusion was carried out in only three (7%) patients in the TXA group compared with 14 (32.6%) patients in the placebo group (p = 0.003). Six (14%) patients experienced a hospital stay of longer than five days in the TXA group and 15 (34.9%) patients in the control group, which was statistically significant (p = 0.024). There were no significant differences in the mortality rate across both groups (p > 0.05). Conclusions TXA has no effect on mortality associated with severe upper GIB. However, it was associated with a lower rate of rebleeding and hospitalization time, without significant adverse effects.