Perioperative blood loss during spinal surgery is associated with complications and in-hospital mortality. Weight-based administration of tranexamic acid (TXA) has the potential to reduce blood loss and related complications in spinal surgery; however, evidence for standardized dosing is lacking. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of a standardized preoperative 2 g bolus TXA dosing regimen on perioperative transfusion, blood loss, thromboembolic events, and postoperative outcomes in spine surgery patients.
An institutional review board approved this retrospective review of prospectively enrolled adult spine patients (> 18 years of age). Patients were included who underwent elective and emergency spine surgery between September 2018 and July 2021. Patients who received a standardized 2 g dose of TXA were compared to patients who did not receive TXA. The primary outcome measure was perioperative transfusion. Secondary outcomes included estimated blood loss and thromboembolic or other perioperative complications. Descriptive statistics were calculated, and continuous variables were analyzed with the two-tailed independent t-test, while categorical variables were analyzed with the Fisher’s exact test or chi-square test. Stepwise multivariate regression analysis was performed to examine independent risk factors for perioperative outcomes.
TXA was administered to 353 of 453 (78%) patients, and there were no demographic differences between groups. Although the TXA group had more operative levels and a longer operative time, the transfusion rate was not different between the TXA and no-TXA groups (7.4% vs 8%, p = 0.83). Stepwise multivariate regression found that the number of operative levels was an independent predictor of perioperative transfusion and that both operative levels and operative time were correlated with estimated blood loss. TXA was not identified as an independent predictor of any postoperative complication.
A standardized preoperative 2 g bolus TXA dosing regimen was associated with an excellent safety profile, and despite increased case complexity in terms of number of operative levels and operative time, patients treated with TXA did not require more blood transfusions than patients not treated with TXA.