Association of Tranexamic Acid Administration With Mortality and Thromboembolic Events in Patients With Traumatic Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Karl V, Thorn S, Mathes T, Hess S, Maegele M
JAMA network open. 2022;5(3):e220625
IMPORTANCE Tranexamic acid is widely available and used off-label in patients with bleeding traumatic injury, although the literature does not consistently agree on its efficacy and safety. OBJECTIVE To examine the association of tranexamic acid administration with mortality and thromboembolic events compared with no treatment or with placebo in patients with traumatic injury in the literature. DATA SOURCES On March 23, 2021, PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library were searched for eligible studies published between 1986 and 2021. STUDY SELECTION Randomized clinical trials and observational studies investigating tranexamic acid administration compared with no treatment or placebo among patients with traumatic injury and traumatic brain injury who were 15 years or older were included. Included studies were published in English or German. The electronic search yielded 1546 records, of which 71 were considered for full-text screening. The selection process was performed independently by 2 reviewers. DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS The study followed the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Data were extracted by 2 independent reviewers and pooled using the inverse-variance random-effects model. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Outcomes were formulated before data collection and included mortality at 24 hours and 28 and 30 days (1 month) as well as the incidence of thromboembolic events and the amount of blood products administered. Owing to missing data, overall mortality was added and the amount of blood products administered was discarded. RESULTS Thirty-one studies with a total of 43 473 patients were included in the systematic review. The meta-analysis demonstrated that administration of tranexamic acid was associated with a significant decrease in 1-month mortality compared with the control cohort (risk ratio, 0.83 [95% CI, 0.71-0.97]; I2 = 35%). The results of meta-analyses for 24-hour and overall mortality and thromboembolic events were heterogeneous and could not be pooled. Further investigations on clinical heterogeneity showed that populations with trauma and trial conditions differed markedly. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE These findings suggest that tranexamic acid may be beneficial in various patient populations with trauma. However, reasonable concerns about potential thromboembolic events with tranexamic acid remain.