Is There a Role for Tranexamic Acid in Upper GI Bleeding? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Surgery research and practice. 2021;2021:8876991
INTRODUCTION Upper gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Tranexamic acid (TXA) is an antifibrinolytic agent which is licensed in the management of haemorrhage associated with trauma. It has been suggested that tranexamic acid may be able to play a role in upper GI bleeding. However, there is currently no recommendation to support this. AIM: The aim of this study was to synthesise available evidence of the effect of TXA on upper GI bleeding. METHODS AND MATERIALS A systematic review was conducted. PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) were searched for relevant studies. A random effects meta-analysis was performed to determine the risk ratio of primary and secondary outcomes pertaining to the use of TXA in upper GI bleeding. RESULTS A total of 8 studies were included in this systematic review. The total number of patients in all studies was 12994 including 4550 females (35%) and 8444 males (65%). The mean age of participants in 6 of the studies was 59.3; however the mean age for either intervention or placebo group was not reported in two of the studies. All studies reported on the effect of TXA on mortality, and the risk ratio was 0.95; however, with the 95% CI ranging from 0.80 to 1.13, this was not statistically significant. 6 of the studies reported on rebleeding rate, the risk ratio was 0.64, and with a 95% CI ranging from 0.47 to 0.86, this was statistically significant. 3 of the studies reported on the risk of adverse thromboembolic events, and the risk ratio was 0.93; however, the 95% CI extended from 0.62 to 1.39 and so was not statistically significant. 7 of the studies reported on the need for surgery, and the risk ratio was 0.59 and was statistically significant with a 95% CI ranging from 0.38 to 0.94. CONCLUSION In conclusion, the use of TXA in upper GI bleeding appears to have a beneficial effect in terms of decreasing the risk of re-bleeding and decreasing the need for surgery. However, we could not find a statistically significant effect on need for blood transfusions, risk of thromboembolic events, or effect on mortality. Future randomised controlled trials may elucidate these outcomes.
Patients with upper gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding (8 studies, n= 12,994).
Meta-analysis to synthesise available evidence of the effect of tranexamic acid (TXA) on upper GI bleeding.
All studies reported on the effect of TXA on mortality, and the risk ratio was 0.95; however, this was not statistically significant. 6 of the studies reported on rebleeding rate, the risk ratio was 0.64, and this was statistically significant. 3 of the studies reported on the risk of adverse thromboembolic events, and the risk ratio was 0.93; however, was not statistically significant. 7 of the studies reported on the need for surgery, and the risk ratio was 0.59 and was statistically significant.
Efficacy and safety of tranexamic acid in acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials
Scandinavian journal of gastroenterology. 2020;:1-8
BACKGROUND Studies evaluating the role of tranexamic acid in acute upper GI bleeding (UGIB) have reported conflicting results. In this systematic review, we have evaluated the efficacy and safety of tranexamic acid in UGIB. METHODS We searched several databases from inception to June 6, 2020 to identify randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared tranexamic acid and placebo in UGIB. Our outcomes of interest were mortality, rebleeding, all thromboembolic events, venous thromboembolic events, need for transfusion, endoscopic intervention and surgery. Pooled risk ratios (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using fixed effect model. We used the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) framework to assess the certainty of evidence. RESULTS We included 12 RCTs comprising 14,100 patients. We found no significant difference in mortality, pooled RR (95% CI) 0.87 (0.74-1.01), rebleeding, pooled RR (95% CI) 0.90 (0.79-1.02), need for surgery, pooled RR (95% CI) 0.86 (0.73-1.02), need for transfusion, pooled RR (95% CI) 1.00 (0.99-1.01) or thromboembolic events, RR (95% CI) 1.16 (0.87-1.56) between treatments. We found an increased risk of venous thromboembolic events with tranexamic acid, pooled RR (95% CI) 1.94 (1.23-3.05). Certainty of evidence based on the GRADE framework for the different outcomes ranged from low to very low. CONCLUSIONS Tranexamic acid does not improve outcomes in UGIB and may increase the risk of venous thromboembolic events.
Patients with acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding bleeding (12 studies, n= 14,100).
Tranexamic acid (n= 7101).
Placebo (n= 6999).
No significant difference in mortality, rebleeding, need for surgery, need for transfusion, or thromboembolic events, between treatments was found. However, there was an increased risk of venous thromboembolic events with tranexamic acid.
Tranexamic acid for gastrointestinal bleeding: A systematic review with meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials
The American journal of emergency medicine. 2020
BACKGROUND Acute gastrointestinal bleeding is a common life-threatening emergent condition. Immediate tranexamic acid is useful for reducing hemorrhage following operation and bleeding trauma, but evidence on the effects of tranexamic acid in patients with gastrointestinal bleeding is limited or highly heterogeneous. It is still unclear about using tranexamic acid in the emergent condition of gastrointestinal bleeding. This study, therefore, aimed to determine whether or not tranexamic acid should be used in gastrointestinal bleeding management through systematic review and meta-analysis. METHODS We searched three biomedical databases for relevant randomized controlled trials on this topic. Two authors independently selected studies and extracted data for bias assessment and meta-analysis of bleeding, further intervention, mortality, transfusion, and intensive care unit admission. Available data were pooled using a random-effects model, and the results were presented as risk ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Heterogeneity and small study effects were also assessed. RESULTS Thirteen randomized controlled trials (n = 2271) were included in the present synthesis. Our meta-analysis revealed that tranexamic acid significantly reduced the rates of continued bleeding (RR = 0.60; 95%CI, 0.43-0.84), urgent endoscopic intervention (RR = 0.35; 95%CI, 0.24-0.50), and mortality (RR = 0.60; 95%CI, 0.45-0.80) compared with the placebo. CONCLUSION According to the available evidence, the present synthesis confirms that tranexamic acid is an effective medication for patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Early administration of tranexamic acid may be worth to be recommended for treating upper gastrointestinal bleeding in the emergency department. However, the effects of tranexamic acid on lower gastrointestinal bleeding warrant further clarification.
Tranexamic acid for acute gastrointestinal bleeding (the HALT-IT trial): statistical analysis plan for an international, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
BACKGROUND Acute gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is an important cause of mortality worldwide. Bleeding can occur from the upper or lower GI tract, with upper GI bleeding accounting for most cases. The main causes include peptic ulcer/erosive mucosal disease, oesophageal varices and malignancy. The case fatality rate is around 10% for upper GI bleeding and 3% for lower GI bleeding. Rebleeding affects 5-40% of patients and is associated with a four-fold increased risk of death. Tranexamic acid (TXA) decreases bleeding and the need for blood transfusion in surgery and reduces death due to bleeding in patients with trauma and postpartum haemorrhage. It reduces bleeding by inhibiting the breakdown of fibrin clots by plasmin. Due to the methodological weaknesses and small size of the existing trials, the effectiveness and safety of TXA in GI bleeding is uncertain. The Haemorrhage ALleviation with Tranexamic acid - Intestinal system (HALT-IT) trial aims to provide reliable evidence about the effects of TXA in acute upper and lower GI bleeding. METHODS The HALT-IT trial is an international, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of tranexamic acid in 12,000 adults (increased from 8000) with acute upper or lower GI bleeding. Eligible patients are randomly allocated to receive TXA (1-g loading dose followed by 3-g maintenance dose over 24 h) or matching placebo. The main analysis will compare those randomised to TXA with those randomised to placebo on an intention-to-treat basis, presenting the results as effect estimates (relative risks) and confidence intervals. The primary outcome is death due to bleeding within 5 days of randomisation and secondary outcomes are: rebleeding; all-cause and cause-specific mortality; thromboembolic events; complications; endoscopic, radiological and surgical interventions; blood transfusion requirements; disability (defined by a measure of patient's self-care capacity); and number of days spent in intensive care or high-dependency units. Subgroup analyses for the primary outcome will consider time to treatment, location of bleeding, cause of bleed and clinical Rockall score. DISCUSSION We present the statistical analysis of the HALT-IT trial. This plan was published before the treatment allocation was unblinded. TRIAL REGISTRATION Current Controlled Trials, ID: ISRCTN11225767. Registered on 3 July 2012; Clinicaltrials.gov, ID: NCT01658124. Registered on 26 July 2012.
Comparison of the efficacy of intravenous tranexamic acid with and without topical administration versus placebo in urgent endoscopy rate for acute gastrointestinal bleeding: A double-blind randomized controlled trial
United European Gastroenterology Journal. 2018;6((1)):46-54.
Background: Tranexamic acid (TXA), a synthetic antifibrinolytic drug, is effective as a treatment for serious hemorrhage, including bleeding arising from major trauma and post-operative interventions. Significant acute gastrointestinal bleeding may have a poor outcome despite routine medical and endoscopic treatments. The aim of this study was to assess whether early intravenous and/or intravenous plus topical administration of TXA reduces the need for urgent endoscopy for acute gastrointestinal bleeding. Method: This double-blind randomized clinical trial included 410 patients with proven acute gastrointestinal bleeding. All patients received conventional therapy. The subjects were randomized to three groups: (A) 138 patients received intravenous TXA (1 g q6h); (B) 133 patients received topical TXA (1 g single dose by nasogastric tube) plus systemic TXA; and (C) 139 patients received a placebo (sodium chloride 0.9%) for 24 hours. Subgroup statistical analyses were conducted for urgent endoscopy, mortality, re-bleeding, blood transfusion, endoscopic and/or surgical intervention rates, and health status. Results: The time to endoscopy was significantly shorter in group C (15.58 +/- 7.994, p < 0.001). A need for urgent endoscopy was seen in 14.49%, 10.52%, and 30.21% of patients in groups A, B, and C, respectively (p < 0.001). No significant statistical differences were seen between treatment groups regarding mortality, re-bleeding, blood transfusion, and endoscopic and/or surgical intervention rates. No thromboembolic event was documented during the 1-week follow up. Conclusions: Our results showed that the antifibrinolytic properties of TXA can aid in changing an urgent endoscopy to an elective procedure, with better outcomes for both physicians and patients.
Tranexamic acid for lower GI hemorrhage: a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial
Diseases of the Colon and Rectum. 2018;61((1)):99-106.
BACKGROUND Lower GI hemorrhage is a common source of morbidity and mortality. Tranexamic acid is an antifibrinolytic that has been shown to reduce blood loss in a variety of clinical conditions. Information regarding the use of tranexamic acid in treating lower GI hemorrhage is lacking. OBJECTIVE The aim of this trial was to determine the clinical efficacy of tranexamic acid when used for lower GI hemorrhage. DESIGN This was a prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial. SETTINGS The study was conducted at a tertiary referral university hospital in Australia. PATIENTS Consecutive patients aged >18 years with lower GI hemorrhage requiring hospital admission from November 2011 to January 2014 were screened for trial eligibility (N = 265). INTERVENTIONS A total of 100 patients were recruited after exclusions and were randomly assigned 1:1 to either tranexamic acid or placebo. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES The primary outcome was blood loss as determined by reduction in hemoglobin levels. The secondary outcomes were transfusion rates, transfusion volume, intervention rates for bleeding, length of hospital stay, readmission, and complication rates. RESULTS There was no difference between groups with respect to hemoglobin drop (11 g/L of tranexamic acid vs 13 g/L of placebo; p = 0.9445). There was no difference with respect to transfusion rates (14/49 tranexamic acid vs 16/47 placebo; p = 0.661), mean transfusion volume (1.27 vs 1.93 units; p = 0.355), intervention rates (7/49 vs 13/47; p = 0.134), length of hospital stay (4.67 vs 4.74 d; p = 0.934), readmission, or complication rates. No complications occurred as a direct result of tranexamic acid use. LIMITATIONS A larger multicenter trial may be required to determine whether there are more subtle advantages with tranexamic acid use in some of the secondary outcomes. CONCLUSIONS Tranexamic acid does not appear to decrease blood loss or improve clinical outcomes in patients presenting with lower GI hemorrhage in the context of this trial. see Video Abstract at http://links.lww.com/DCR/A453.
Topical tranexamic acid as a novel treatment for bleeding peptic ulcer: a randomised controlled trial
African Journal of Paediatric Surgery : Ajps. 2016;13((1)):9-13.
BACKGROUND Peptic ulcers are among the most common causes of upper gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding in children. The standard care for GI bleeding is endoscopy for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. We aimed to assess the effect of topical tranexamic acid (TXA) via endoscopic procedures in children with GI bleeding caused by bleeding ulcers. PROCEDURE In this randomised controlled trial, 120 children were evaluated by diagnostic procedures for GI bleeding, of which 63 (30 girls, 33 boys) aged 1-month to 15 years were recruited. The patients were randomly divided into case and control groups. In the case group, TXA was administered directly under endoscopic therapy. In the control group, epinephrine (1/10,000) was submucosally injected to the four quadrants of ulcer margins as the routine endoscopic therapy. In both groups, the patients received supportive medical therapy with intravenous fluids and proton pump inhibitor drugs. RESULTS The mean +/- standard deviation age of the children was 5 +/- 2.03 years. Rebleeding occurred in 15 (11.4%) and 21 (9.8%) patients in the case and control groups, respectively (P = 0.50). The frequency of blood transfusion episodes (P = 0.06) and duration of hospital stay (P = 0.07) were not statistically different between the groups. CONCLUSION Using topical TXA via endoscopic procedures may be effective in cases of GI bleedings caused by active bleeding ulcers. In order to establish this therapeutic effect, a large number of clinical studies are needed.
Tranexamic acid in the management of upper gastrointestinal bleeding: an evidence-based case report
Acta Medica Indonesiana. 2015;47((2)):172-5.
AIM: to review the effectiveness of tranexamic acid therapy which has been proposed to reduce bleeding and in turn lower mortality rate. METHODS following literature searching based on our clinical question on Cochrane Library, PubMed, Clinical Key, EBSCO, Science Direct and Proquest, one systematic review that includes seven randomized controlled trials is obtained. The article meets validity and relevance criteria. RESULTS the systematic review found that there is no any clear evidence between intervention and control groups in term of mortality. CONCLUSION the use of tranexamic acid to reduce mortality in patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeding is not recommended.
Tranexamic acid for upper gastrointestinal bleeding
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2014;11:CD006640.
Background Tranexamic acid reduces haemorrhage through its antifibrinolytic effects. In a previous version of the present review, we found that tranexamic acid may reduce mortality. This review includes updated searches and new trials.Objectives To assess the effects of tranexamic acid versus no intervention, placebo or other antiulcer drugs for upper gastrointestinal bleeding.Search methods We updated the review by performing electronic database searches (Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL),MEDLINE, EMBASE, Science Citation Index) and manual searches in July 2014.Selection criteriaRandomised controlled trials, irrespective of language or publication status.Data collection and analysis We used the standard methodological procedures of the The Cochrane Collaboration. All-cause mortality, bleeding and adverse events were the primary outcome measures. We performed fixed-effect and random-effects model meta-analyses and presented results as risk ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and used I2 as a measure of between-trial heterogeneity. We analysed tranexamic acid versus placebo or no intervention and tranexamic acid versus antiulcer drugs separately. To analyse sources of heterogeneity and robustness of the overall results, we performed subgroup, sensitivity and sequential analyses.Main results We included eight randomised controlled trials on tranexamic acid for upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Additionally, we identified one large ongoing pragmatic randomised controlled trial from which data are not yet available. Control groups were randomly assigned to placebo (seven trials) or no intervention (one trial). Two trials also included a control group randomly assigned to antiulcer drugs(lansoprazole or cimetidine). The included studies were published from 1973 to 2011. The number of participants randomly assigned ranged from 47 to 216 (median 204). All trials reported mortality. In total, 42 of 851 participants randomly assigned to tranexamic acid and 71 of 850 in the control group died (RR 0.60, 95% CI 0.42 to 0.87; P value 0.007; I2 = 0%). The analysis was not confirmed when all participants in the intervention group with missing outcome data were included as treatment failures, or when the analysis was limited to trials with low risk of attrition bias. Rebleeding was diagnosed for 117 of 826 participants in the tranexamic acid group and for 146 of 825 participants in the control group (RR 0.80, 95% CI 0.64 to 1.00; P value 0.07; I2 = 49%).We were able to evaluate the risk of serious adverse events on the basis of only four trials. Our analyses showed 'no evidence of a difference between tranexamic acid and control interventions regarding the risk of thromboembolic events.' Tranexamic acid appeared to reduce the risk of surgery ina fixed-effect meta-analysis (RR 0.73, 95% CI 0.56 to 0.95), but this result was no longer statistically significant in a random-effects meta-analysis (RR 0.61, 95% CI 0.35 to 1.04; P value 0.07). No difference was apparent between tranexamic acid and placebo in the assessment of transfusion (RR 1.02, 95% CI 0.94 to 1.11; I2 = 0%), and meta-analyses that compared tranexamic acid versus antiulcer drugs did not identify beneficial or detrimental effects of tranexamic acid for any of the outcomes assessed.Authors' conclusions This review found that tranexamic acid appears to have a beneficial effect on mortality, but a high dropout rate in some trials means that we cannot be sure of this until the findings of additional research are published. At the time of this update in 2014, one large study(8000 participants) is in progress, so this review will be much more informative in a few years. Further examination of tranexamic acid would require inclusion of high-quality randomised controlled trials. Timing of randomisation is essential to avoid attrition bias and to limit the number of withdrawals. Future trials may use a pragmatic design and should include all participants with suspected bleeding or with endoscopically verified bleeding, as well as a tranexamic pla
HALT-IT - tranexamic acid for the treatment of gastrointestinal bleeding: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial
BACKGROUND Gastrointestinal bleeding is a common emergency that causes substantial mortality worldwide. Acute upper and lower gastrointestinal bleeding accounts for about 75,000 hospital admissions each year in the UK and causes the death of about 10% of these patients.Tranexamic acid has been shown to reduce the need for blood transfusion in surgical patients and to reduce mortality in bleeding trauma patients, with no apparent increase in thromboembolic events.A systematic review of clinical trials of upper gastrointestinal bleeding shows a reduction in the risk of death with tranexamic acid but the quality of the trials was poor and the estimates are imprecise. The trials were also too small to assess the effect of tranexamic acid on thromboembolic events. METHODS HALT-IT is a pragmatic, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial which will determine the effect of tranexamic acid on mortality, morbidity (re-bleeding, non-fatal vascular events), blood transfusion, surgical intervention, and health status in patients with acute gastrointestinal bleeding. Eight thousand adult patients who fulfil the eligibility criteria will be randomised to receive tranexamic acid or placebo.Adults with significant acute upper or lower gastrointestinal bleeding can be included if the responsible doctor is substantially uncertain as to whether or not to use tranexamic acid in that particular patient.Trial treatment consists of a loading dose of tranexamic acid (1 g by intravenous injection) or placebo (sodium chloride 0.9%) given as soon as possible after randomisation, followed by an intravenous infusion of 3 g tranexamic acid or placebo (sodium chloride 0.9%) over 24 hours.The main analyses will compare those allocated tranexamic acid with those allocated placebo, on an intention-to-treat basis. Results will be presented as effect estimates with a measure of precision (95% confidence intervals). Subgroup analyses for the primary outcome will be based on time to treatment, source of bleeding (upper versus lower), suspected variceal bleeding and severity of bleeding. A study with 8,000 patients will have over 90% power to detect a 25% reduction in mortality from 10% to 7.5%. TRIAL REGISTRATION Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN11225767 (registration date: 3 July 2012); Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01658124 (registration date: 26 July 2012).