Coagulopathy is a major problem in surgery for cyanotic congenital heart disease. Tranexamic acid has been used both topically and systemically and plays a vital role in pediatric cardiac surgery by reducing blood loss and blood product requirement. We aimed to determine the anti-fibrinolytic effectiveness of low-dose systemic or topical tranexamic acid or a combination of both.
Seventy-five patients were divided in 3 groups of 25. Group A patients were given tranexamic acid 20 mg kg−1 intravenously after sternotomy and 20 mg kg−1 after heparin reversal. Group B patients were given tranexamic acid 50 mg kg−1 in 20 mL of saline intrapericardially before sternal closure, with the drain clamped for 20 min. Group C patients were given tranexamic acid 20 mg kg−1 intravenously after sternotomy and 50 mg kg−1 intrapericardially before sternal closure. A number of clinical variables were recorded in the first 3 postoperative days. Ventilator time, intensive care unit stay, and outcome were also recorded.
Chest tube drainage and blood product requirements were lowest in group C. Blood urea and serum creatinine levels were higher in groups A and C (p < 0.05). Intensive care unit stay and ventilator time were similar in all 3 groups. No patient died and none had a seizure or other neurological event or thromboembolic complication postoperatively.
The combination of low-dose intravenous and topical tranexamic acid reduces postoperative blood loss and blood product requirement without incurring neurological, renal or thromboembolic complications. We recommend the routine use of topical and low-dose systemic tranexamic acid in cyanotic pediatric cardiac surgery.