Tranexamic Acid for the Prevention of Blood Loss after Cesarean Delivery

Abstract

Background: Prophylactic administration of tranexamic acid has been associated with reduced postpartum blood loss after cesarean delivery in several small trials, but evidence of its benefit in this clinical context remains inconclusive.

Methods: In a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, controlled trial, we assigned women undergoing cesarean delivery before or during labor at 34 or more gestational weeks to receive an intravenously administered prophylactic uterotonic agent and either tranexamic acid (1 g) or placebo. The primary outcome was postpartum hemorrhage, defined as a calculated estimated blood loss greater than 1000 ml or receipt of a red-cell transfusion within 2 days after delivery. Secondary outcomes included gravimetrically estimated blood loss, provider-assessed clinically significant postpartum hemorrhage, use of additional uterotonic agents, and postpartum blood transfusion.

Results: Of the 4551 women who underwent randomization, 4431 underwent cesarean delivery, 4153 (93.7%) of whom had primary outcome data available. The primary outcome occurred in 556 of 2086 women (26.7%) in the tranexamic acid group and in 653 of 2067 (31.6%) in the placebo group (adjusted risk ratio, 0.84; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.75 to 0.94; P = 0.003). There were no significant between-group differences in mean gravimetrically estimated blood loss or in the percentage of women with provider-assessed clinically significant postpartum hemorrhage, use of additional uterotonic agents, or postpartum blood transfusion. Thromboembolic events in the 3 months after delivery occurred in 0.4% of women (8 of 2049) who received tranexamic acid and in 0.1% of women (2 of 2056) who received placebo (adjusted risk ratio, 4.01; 95% CI, 0.85 to 18.92; P = 0.08).

Conclusions: Among women who underwent cesarean delivery and received prophylactic uterotonic agents, tranexamic acid treatment resulted in a significantly lower incidence of calculated estimated blood loss greater than 1000 ml or red-cell transfusion by day 2 than placebo, but it did not result in a lower incidence of hemorrhage-related secondary clinical outcomes. (Funded by the French Ministry of Health; TRAAP2 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03431805.).

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