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Tranexamic Acid Reduced the Percent of Total Blood Volume Lost During Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Surgery

Kristen E. Jones, MD,1 Elissa K. Butler, MD,2 Tara Barrack, MS, PA-C,3 Charles T. Ledonio, MD,4 Mary L. Forte, PhD, DC,4 Claudia S. Cohn, MD,5 David W. Polly, Jr., MD1

1Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurosurgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2 Department of Surgery, University of Washington,Seattle, WA, 3Summit Orthopedics, Woodbury, MN, 4Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 5Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN



Multilevel posterior spine fusion is associated with significant intraoperative blood loss. Tranexamic acid is an antifibrinolytic agent that reduces intraoperative blood loss. The goal of this study was to compare the percent of total blood volume lost during posterior spinal fusion (PSF) with or without tranexamic acid in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).


Thirty-six AIS patients underwent PSF in 2011-2014; the last half (n=18) received intraoperative tranexamic acid. We retrieved relevant demographic, hematologic, intraoperative and outcomes information from medical records. The primary outcome was the percent of total blood volume lost, calculated from estimates of intraoperative blood loss (numerator) and estimated total blood volume per patient (denominator, via Nadler's equations). Unadjusted outcomes were compared using standard statistical tests.


Tranexamic acid and no-tranexamic acid groups were similar (all p>0.05) in mean age (16.1 vs. 15.2 years), sex (89% vs. 83% female), body mass index (22.2 vs. 20.2 kg/m2), preoperative hemoglobin (13.9 vs. 13.9 g/dl), mean spinal levels fused (10.5 vs. 9.6), osteotomies (1.6 vs. 0.9) and operative duration (6.1 hours, both). The percent of total blood volume lost (TBVL) was significantly lower in the tranexamic acid-treated vs. no-tranexamic acid group (median 8.23% vs. 14.30%, p = 0.032); percent TBVL per level fused was significantly lower with tranexamic acid than without it (1.1% vs. 1.8%, p=0.048). Estimated blood loss (milliliters) was similar across groups.


Tranexamic acid significantly reduced the percentage of total blood volume lost versus no tranexamic acid in AIS patients who underwent PSF using a standardized blood loss measure. 

Level of Evidence: 3. Institutional Review Board status: This medical record chart review (minimal risk) study was approved by the University of Minnesota Institutional Review Board.

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tranexamic acid, Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, blood loss, Posterior spinal fusion
Volume 11 Issue 4
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