Vol 6, No 4 (2021)
Research paper
Published online: 2021-11-03

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Place of tranexamic acid in traumatic brain injury: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Mahdi Al-Jeabory12, Lukasz Szarpak134, Zubaid Rafique5, Nilesh R. Vasan6, Kecskes Attila7, Aleksandra Gasecka89, Wladyslaw Gawel10, Michal Pruc1, Marek Malysz1, Milosz J. Jaguszewski11, Ivan Savytskyi12, Natasza Blek3, Krzysztof J. Filipiak3, Frank W. Peacock5
Disaster Emerg Med J 2021;6(4):155-163.


BACKGROUND: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability. In many cases of TBI-related intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) is associated with a high risk of coagulopathy and may lead to an increased risk of hemorrhage growth. Therefore, tranexamic acid (TXA), which is known as an antifibrinolytic agent that reduces bleeding by inhibiting the breakdown of blood clots, might limit ICH expansion.  

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We aimed to quantify the effects of TXA in brain injury and thus performed a literaturę search using PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, EMBASE, and Cochrane Center Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) for studies that were published between the respective database inception, and April 10, 2021.  

RESULTS: A total of nine studies were identified; these included 5845 patients treated with, and 5380 treated without TXA. The 28-day or in-hospital mortality was 17.8% for the TXA group, compared with 19.3% for the no-TXA group (OR = 0.92; 95% CI: 0.83, 1.01; p = 0.08). At 6-months follow-up, mortality was 18.3% vs 19.9% (OR = 0.91; 95% CI: 0.63–1.31; p = 0.60), with and without TXA, respectively. A Glasgow Outcome Scale less than 4 points at 28-days follow-up was reported in 3 studies and was 29.8% vs 34.8% (OR = 0.91; 95% CI: 0.45, 1.82; p = 0.78), with and without TXA, respectively. No differences were found in adverse events between TXA and non-TXA groups.  

CONCLUSION: Our analysis found showed no statistical significance between TXA and non-TXA treatment of TBI patients, however, in the TXA group a trend to decrease 28-day mortality compared to non-TXA treatment was observed. More high-quality studies are needed to show the significant benefit of using TXA, especially in moderate and severe TBI patient groups.

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