Decreasing Postoperative Blood Loss by Topical vs. Intravenous Tranexamic Acid in Open Cardiac Surgery (DEPOSITION) study: Results of a pilot study
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BACKGROUND: Cardiac surgery patients are at high risk for postoperative bleeding. Intravenous (IV) tranexamic acid (TxA) is a commonly used antifibrinolytic drug, but is associated with postoperative seizures. We conducted this pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) to determine the feasibility of a larger trial that will be designed to investigate the impact of TxA administration route, intrapericardial (IP) vs IV, on postoperative bleeding and seizures. METHODS: In this single-center, double-blinded, pilot RCT we enrolled adult patients undergoing nonemergent on-pump cardiac operations through a median sternotomy. Participants were randomized to IP or IV TxA groups. The primary outcomes were cumulative chest tube drainage, transfusion requirements, and incidence of postoperative seizures. RESULTS: A total of 97 participants were randomized to the intervention and control groups. Baseline characteristics were similar in both groups. Most participants underwent a CABG and/or aortic valve replacement. There was no statistical difference. The IP TxA group was found to have a tendency for less chest tube drainage in comparison to the IV TxA group, 500.5 (370.0-700.0) and 540.0 (420.0-700.0) mL, respectively, which was not statistically significant (P = 0.2854). Fewer participants in the IP TxA group with cardiac tamponade and/or required a reoperation for bleeding and fewer packed red blood cell transfusions. None of the IP TxA group developed seizure vs one from the IV TxA group. CONCLUSION: This is the first known pilot RCT to investigate the role of TxA route of administration in open cardiac surgery. Intrapericardial TxA shows promising results with decreased bleeding, transfusion requirements, reoperations, and postoperative seizures. A larger RCT is needed to confirm these results and lead to a change in practice.
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