Background: Spinal surgeries are often accompanied by significant blood loss both intraoperatively and postoperatively. Excessive blood loss caused by surgery may lead to several unsatisfactory medical consequences. Tranexamic acid (TXA) is a kind of antifibrinolytic agent that has been widely used in spinal surgery. Currently, it is widely accepted that intravenous TXA (ivTXA) can clearly reduce blood loss in spinal fusion surgeries. Compared with ivTXA, topical TXA (tTXA) seems to be much easier to administer, and this advantage provides a maximum concentration of TXA at the haemorrhagic site with little to no TXA entering the circulation.
Objective: To evaluate the effect of tTXA on blood loss during and after spinal surgery via a comprehensive metaanalysis of the published data in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and other comparative cohort studies.
Methods: A comprehensive search of PubMed, EMBASE, the Web of Science and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials was performed for RCTs and other comparative cohort studies on the effect of tTXA on blood loss during and after spinal surgery. The outcomes were total blood loss, hidden blood loss, intraoperative blood loss, total postoperative drainage volume, drainage tube duration postoperatively, drainage volume and drainage of blood content at postoperative day (POD) 1 and POD2, length of hospital stay, number of patients who received a blood transfusion, serum HB level at POD1, operative timespan, side effects and complications. The final search was performed in October, 2020. We followed the PRISMA guideline, and the registration number is INPLASY202160028.
Results: In total, 6 studies with 481 patients were included. tTXA treatment, compared with the control conditions, can significantly reduce the total blood loss, hidden blood loss, total postoperative drainage volume, and number of patients receiving blood transfusions; reduce the drainage volume and drainage of blood content at POD1; shorten the drainage tube duration postoperatively and length of hospital stay; and enhance the serum HB level at POD1 for spinal surgery. tTXA treatment did not significantly influence the intraoperative blood loss, drainage volume or drainage of blood content at POD2 or the operative duration.
Conclusion: Compared with control conditions, tTXA has high efficacy in reducing blood loss and drainage volume, enables quick rehabilitation, and has a relatively high level of safety in spinal surgery.