Tranexamic Acid after Cardiopulmonary Bypass Does Not Increase Risk of Postoperative Seizures: A Retrospective Study

Gen Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2021 Sep 24. Online ahead of print


To evaluate the effects of administering tranexamic acid (TXA) after cardiopulmonary bypass, instead of after anesthesia induction, on postoperative seizures and blood transfusion requirements.


Adult patients who underwent valve surgery and/or coronary artery bypass grafting at West China Hospital between July 1, 2011 and December 31, 2016 were retrospectively analyzed. Patients either received TXA after bypass (n = 2062) or not (n = 4236). Logistic regression and propensity score matching analysis were performed to assess effects of TXA on postoperative seizures and blood product requirements in hospital.


Among 6298 patients, seizures occurred in 2.4% (102/4236) in the no-TXA group and 2.7% (56/2062) in the TXA group (P = 0.46). The number of patients receiving any blood products was greater in the no-TXA group (57.3%, 2428/4236) than in the TXA group (53.1%, 1095/2062) (P < 0.01), and the volume of blood products was also greater in the no-TXA group (1.5 vs. 1.0 units, P < 0.01). TXA was not associated with increased incidence of postoperative seizures (adjusted OR 1.16, 95% CI 0.83–1.62) but was associated with lower incidence of a requirement for blood products (adjusted OR 0.82, 95% CI 0.73–0.92). Similar results were obtained after patients from the two groups were matched based on propensity scoring. TXA was associated with reduced requirements for fresh frozen plasma, platelets and cryoprecipitate, but not red blood cells.


Administering TXA after bypass may reduce requirements for blood products without increasing risk of seizures following cardiac surgery.