The aim of this study was to determine if the use of tranexamic acid (TXA) in long-segment spinal fusion surgery can help reduce perioperative blood loss, transfusion requirements, and morbidity.
In this retrospective single-center study, the authors included 119 consecutive patients who underwent thoracolumbar fusion spanning at least 4 spinal levels from October 2016 to February 2019. Blood loss, transfusion requirements, perioperative morbidity, and adverse thrombotic events were compared between a cohort receiving intravenous TXA and a control group that did not.
There was no significant difference in any measure of intraoperative blood loss (1514.3 vs 1209.1 mL, p = 0.29) or transfusion requirement volume between the TXA and control groups despite a higher number of pelvic fusion procedures in the TXA group (85.9% vs 62.5%, p = 0.003). Postoperative transfusion volume was significantly lower in TXA patients (954 vs 572 mL, p = 0.01). There was no difference in the incidence of thrombotic complications between the groups.
TXA appears to provide a protective effect against blood loss in long-segment spine fusion surgery specifically when pelvic dissection and fixation is performed. TXA also seems to decrease postoperative transfusion requirements without increasing the risk of adverse thrombotic events.