Using aminocaproic acid to reduce blood loss after primary unilateral total knee arthroplasty


Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Aurora Grafton Medical Center


Extensive blood loss after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is common, and affected patients often require blood transfusions. Studies suggest that antifibrinolytic agents such as aminocaproic acid (ACA) reduce blood loss and blood transfusion rates in patients undergoing TKA. We conducted a study to evaluate whether a single intravenous 10-g dose of ACA given during primary unilateral TKA would decrease perioperative blood loss, raise postoperative hemoglobin levels, and reduce postoperative blood transfusion rates. We retrospectively reviewed the charts of 50 comparable cemented primary unilateral TKAs. Twenty-five patients had been given a single intraoperative 10-g dose of ACA (antifibrinolytic group), and the other 25 had not been given ACA (control group). Postoperative drain output was decreased significantly (P < .0001) in the antifibrinolytic group (155 mL) compared with the control group (410 mL), as was the number of units of blood transfused after surgery (antifibrinolytic group, 0 units; control group, 10 units; P < .002). There were no adverse events in the antifibrinolytic group. In TKA, perioperative blood loss and blood transfusion rates were reduced significantly in patients given a single intraoperative intravenous 10-g dose of ACA compared with patients not given antifibrinolytics. The positive effects of ACA were obtained without adverse events or complications.

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