Tranexamic acid reduces blood loss after off-pump coronary surgery: a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study

Guyan Wang, Gaoqiang Xie, Tingting Jiang, Yuefu Wang, Weipeng Wang, Hongwen Ji, Mingzheng Liu, Lei Chen, Lihuan Li
Anesthesia and Analgesia 2012, 115 (2): 239-43

BACKGROUND: Bleeding and the need for allogeneic transfusions are still problems after off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting (OPCAB) surgery. We therefore evaluated the effects of an antifibrinolytic, tranexamic acid, on postoperative bleeding and transfusion requirements in patients undergoing OPCAB surgery.

METHODS: Two hundred thirty-one consecutive patients scheduled for elective OPCAB were enrolled in the study. Using a double-blind method, the patients were randomly assigned to receive either tranexamic acid (bolus 1 g before surgical incision followed by an infusion of 400 mg/h during surgery; n = 116) or a placebo (infusion equivalent volume of saline solution; n = 115). The primary outcome was 24-hour postoperative chest tube drainage. Allogeneic transfusion, mortality, major morbidities, and resource utilization were also recorded.

RESULTS: In comparison with the placebo group, the patients receiving tranexamic acid had a significant reduction in chest tube drainage at 6 hours (270 ± 118 mL vs 416 ± 179 mL, P < 0.001) and 24 hours (654 ± 224 mL vs 891 ± 295 mL, P < 0.001). There was also a significant reduction in allogeneic red blood cell transfusions (47 vs 31.9%, P = 0.019) and fresh frozen plasma (29.6% vs 17.2%, P = 0.027) transfusions. There were no differences in mortality, morbidity, and resource utilization between the 2 groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Tranexamic acid reduces postoperative chest tube drainage and the requirement for allogeneic transfusion in off-pump coronary surgery.

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