Tranexamic acid (TXA) is a common antifibrinolytic agent used to minimize bleeding in cardiac surgery. Up to 50% cardiac surgical patients have chronic renal dysfunction (CRD). Optimal dosing of TXA in CRD remains poorly investigated. This is important as TXA is renally eliminated with accumulation in CRD. High TXA doses are associated with postoperative seizures. This study measures plasma TXA concentrations in CRD cardiac surgical patients for pharmacokinetic modeling and dose adjustment recommendations.
This prospective cohort study enrolled 48 patients with stages 1–5 CRD, classified by Kidney Disease Outcome Quality Initiative. Patients were separated into 2 treatment groups. A “low-risk” group underwent simple aortocoronary bypass or single-valve repair/replacement and received a 50 mg/kg TXA bolus. A “high-risk” group underwent redo, aortic, multiple valve or combination surgery and received the Blood Conservation Using Anti-fibrinolytics Trial dosing regimen (loading dose 30 mg/kg, infusion 16 mg/kg/h with 2 mg/kg in pump prime). Primary outcome identified changes in TXA clearance and distribution volume, which provided the rationale for dose adjustment. Descriptive clinical outcomes assessed postoperative seizures, blood loss, ischemic-thrombotic complications, in-hospital mortality, and length of hospital stay.
TXA concentrations were elevated and sustained above the therapeutic threshold for approximately 12 hours in high-risk stages 3–5 groups, in accordance to CRD severity.
Using a pharmacokinetic model, we propose a simple new TXA dosing regimen that optimizes maximal antifibrinolysis and avoids excessive drug dosing.
- Question: What is the pharmacokinetic profile of tranexamic acid among cardiac surgical patients with varying levels of preoperative chronic renal dysfunction?
- Findings: Plasma tranexamic acid levels are raised in accordance with severity of chronic renal dysfunction in patients undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass surgery.
- Meaning: Dosing of tranexamic acid should be lowered in patients with chronic renal dysfunction presenting for cardiac surgery.