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A systematic review on the efficacy of tranexamic acid in head and neck surgery.

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BACKGROUND: Intraoperative and postoperative blood loss is a major risk in head and neck (H&N) surgery. Recently the use of tranexamic acid (TXA) has been investigated by multiple studies for reducing intraoperative and postoperative bleeding, however reported results are variable. OBJECTIVES: To determine the safety and efficacy of TXA use in H&N surgery. METHODS: Systematic review of MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, PubMed, ClinicalKey, and according to the PRISMA guidelines. Studies were included if they reported on intraoperative bleeding, volume or duration of postoperative drain or return to theatre rate for postoperative haemorrhage in adult populations following use of TXA. Risk of bias assessment with Cochrane Risk of Bias (RoB2) tool for randomised controlled trials and Newcastle-Ottawa Scale tool for non-randomised studies. RESULTS: Sixteen studies were identified (114 407 patients). Eight studies evaluated TXA in major H&N surgery and eight studies in tonsillectomy. Primary outcomes were reduction in intraoperative or postoperative bleeding. Secondary outcomes included the duration of postoperative drain placement and return to theatre rate. No adverse events were reported in any patients. TXA is effective in reducing intraoperative blood loss in tonsillectomy. However, the effect on posttonsillectomy haemorrhage was unclear. Insufficient evidence exists of benefit of TXA on intraoperative bleeding in major H&N procedures. Postoperative drainage volumes were significantly reduced in most major H&N studies. The duration of drain placement and risk of blood transfusion was unchanged in most cases. CONCLUSION: TXA use is safe in H&N patients. Whilst sufficient evidence exists to support the use of TXA in tonsillectomy, insufficient evidence exists to recommend use in major H&N surgery.



head and neck surgery, thyroidectomy, tonsillectomy, tranexamic acid, Adult, Humans, Tranexamic Acid, Antifibrinolytic Agents, Postoperative Hemorrhage, Blood Loss, Surgical, Tonsillectomy

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Clin Otolaryngol

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