Epsilon Aminocaproic Acid to Reduce Blood Loss and Transfusion After Total Hip and Total Knee Arthroplasty.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Total hip and knee arthroplasty (THA and TKA) are associated with significant blood loss and some patients require postoperative blood transfusion. While tranexamic acid has been studied extensively among this population, we tested the hypothesis that epsilon aminocaproic acid (EACA) can reduce blood loss and transfusion after joint arthroplasty. METHODS: In April 2014, our Veterans Affairs Medical Center introduced a protocol to administer EACA during THA and TKA. No antifibrinolytics were used previously. We retrospectively compared blood loss and incidence of transfusion among patients who underwent primary arthroplasty in the year before standardized administration of EACA with patients having the same procedures the following year. Blood loss was measured as delta hemoglobin (preoperative hemoglobin - hemoglobin on postoperative day 1). All patients undergoing primary THA or TKA were included. Patients having revision surgery were excluded. RESULTS: We identified 185 primary arthroplasty patients from the year before and 184 from the year after introducing the EACA protocol. There were no changes in surgical technique or attending surgeons during this period. Delta hemoglobin was significantly lower in the EACA group (2.7 ± 0.8 mg/dL) compared to the control group (3.4 ± 1.1 mg/dL) (P < .0001). The incidence of blood transfusion was also significantly lower in the EACA group (2.7%) compared to the control group (25.4%) (P < .0001). There was no difference in venous thromboembolic complications between groups. CONCLUSION: We demonstrated reductions in hemoglobin loss and transfusion following introduction of the EACA protocol in patients undergoing primary arthroplasty. EACA offers a lower cost alternative to TXA for reducing blood loss and transfusion in this population.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hobbs, JC; Welsby, IJ; Green, CL; Dhakal, IB; Wellman, SS

Published Date

  • January 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 33 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 55 - 60

PubMed ID

  • 28939033

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-8406

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.arth.2017.08.020


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States