The efficacy of amicar versus tranexamic acid in pediatric spinal deformity surgery: A prospective, randomized, double-blinded pilot study

Matthew A. Halanski, Jeffrey A. Cassidy, Scott Hetzel, Diann Reischmann, Nabil Hassan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Study Design Single-center, prospective, randomized, double-blinded trial. Objectives To compare blood loss, allogenic transfusion requirements, and coagulation parameters between pediatric spinal deformity patients receiving aminocaproic acid (Amicar) or tranexamic acid (TXA) during posterior spinal fusion. Summary of Background Data Amicar and TXA have been shown to decrease blood loss in pediatric spinal deformity cases compared with controls. The difference in efficacy between these medications in this population has not been reported. Methods Enrolled patients were randomized to receive either Amicar or TXA during scoliosis surgery. Baseline demographic and deformity comparisons were collected. Intraoperative comparisons included estimated and calculated blood loss, number of levels instrumented, number of osteotomies, operative time, and allogenic transfusion requirements. Preoperative and postoperative hemoglobin, platelets, prothrombin time, partial prothrombin time (PTT), international normalized ratio (INR), and fibrinogen were recorded. Results A total of 47 patients were enrolled with data available for review (N = 25, Amicar; N = 22, TXA). No difference in cohorts was found in demographics, preoperative hemoglobin, platelets, prothrombin time, PTT, INR, initial Cobb angle, average number of: levels fused, patients with osteotomies and osteotomies, operative time, and final Cobb angles. Estimated blood loss was significantly less (about 221 mL) than the calculated blood loss in both groups (p =.003). Estimated blood loss (1,088 vs. 726 mL; p =.055) and calculated blood loss (1,366 vs. 903 mL; p =.13) trended higher in the Amicar group. Although no difference in allogenic transfusion rates (20% vs. 14%) was observed, average volumes transfused were significantly higher in the Amicar cohort (1,014 vs. 461 mL; p =.03). The TXA cohort demonstrated a statistically significant smaller change in INR, a lower PTT, and greater fibrinogen levels postoperatively. Conclusions Compared with Amicar, TXA use was associated with a lower allogenic transfusion requirement, less alteration in postoperative clotting studies, and a trend toward lower blood loss in pediatric posterior spinal fusion patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-197
Number of pages7
JournalSpine Deformity
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Amicar
  • Antifibrinolytics
  • Blood loss
  • Scoliosis
  • Tranexamic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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