Background: Tranexamic acid efficacy on clinically relevant adverse outcomes in patients undergoing shoulder arthroplasty has been contradictory. The aim of this review was to analyze whether tranexamic acid administration could decrease transfusions, infection and hematoma formation in patients undergoing shoulder arthroplasty. Methods: PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library were searched up to May 2019 for randomized controlled trials comparing tranexamic acid to placebo in shoulder arthroplasty. Random-effect models were performed to meta-analyze the evidence. Trial sequential analysis was used to calculate and to establish the conclusiveness of the evidence derived from the meta-analysis. Results: Four randomized controlled trials comprising 375 patients were included. Meta-analysis showed no effect of tranexamic acid on transfusion rate (RR = 0.48 (adjusted 95% CI 0.05 to 3.85)). The possible effect of tranexamic acid on hematoma formation or infection rates after shoulder arthroplasty is non-estimable with the current evidence. The sample size necessary to reliably determine if tranexamic acid decreases transfusions, infection rates and hematoma formation is not available from the current literature as determined by the trial sequential analysis. Discussion: While tranexamic acid has proven its efficacy in decreasing blood loss in shoulder arthroplasty, this meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials clarifies that there is currently no conclusive evidence for a positive effect of tranexamic acid upon transfusion rate, infection rates or hematoma formation in patients undergoing primary shoulder arthroplasty.
- Shoulder arthroplasty
- tranexamic acid
- trial sequential analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation