Short-term safety of tranexamic acid use in posterior cervical decompression and fusion surgery

Roberto J. Perez-Roman, Julian G. Lugo-Pico, Joshua D. Burks, Karthik Madhavan, Dallas Sheinberg, Barth A Green, Joseph Gjolaj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Posterior cervical decompression and fusion (PCDF) can result in substantial blood loss, leading to blood transfusions and associated complications, such as infections, hypotension and organ damage. The antifibrinolytic tranexamic acid (TXA), an inhibitor of the activation of plasminogen, has been shown to be beneficial in multiple surgical procedures without any apparent increase in postoperative complications. However, there are only few studies reporting TXA utilization in cervical spine surgery and there is currently no literature detailing the short-term safety of its use in this setting. The purpose of our study is to determine the safety profile of TXA in posterior cervical decompression and fusion. From January 2015 to April 2018, 47 patients were identified to have undergone PCDF, 19 with the utilization of a TXA protocol at our institution. The incidence of adverse events was evaluated in the perioperative period and at 1 month follow-up. Of 39 patients, Nineteen (49%) received TXA as per our instructional protocol and 20 (51%) did not. Post-operative blood was significantly reduced (453 ml vs 701 ml; p = 0.03) in the group that received TXA. There was also a significant reduction in duration of surgery associated with TXA use (269 min vs 328 min; p = 0.05). There were no complications on the first 30 days after surgical intervention on the TXA group. TXA use during PCDF is a safe, effective method to reduce postoperative blood loss. Considering the limited number of patients in this study, these results should be validated on a larger group of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Perioperative blood loss
  • Posterior cervical decompression and fusion
  • Safety
  • Tranexamic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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