for people ages 18-80 (full criteria)
at San Francisco, California and other locations
study started
completion around



This study is designed to evaluate the efficacy of topical tranexamic acid to reduce perioperative blood loss, reduction in postoperative drain output and allogenic transfusion requirements.

The proposed study will be a prospective, randomized, double-blind (subject, surgeons, investigators, research coordinators) placebo-controlled study. Patients following high energy trauma who have sustained thoracic or lumbar spine fractures, dislocations or ligamentous injury with resultant instability requiring posterior spinal fusion will be enrolled for this study. Furthermore, patients undergoing elective complex deformity surgery will also be enrolled. Both populations of patients will be randomized into two groups. Group I will receive standard of care operative fixation with topical tranexamic acid intervention (test); Group II will receive standard of care operative fixation with normal saline (placebo) intervention. This study will have a 2-year follow-up and will consist of three periods: screening/enrollment phase up to 21 days from the day of injury to the day of randomization and operative intervention, an inpatient data collection period for 4 days postoperative, and then a follow-up period for 2-years postoperative (visits occurring at 2 week, 16 week, 1 year, and 2 year) time points.

Official Title

Topical Application of Tranexamic Acid to Reduce Blood Loss During Complex Combat-related Spine Trauma Surgery


Reducing perioperative blood loss is critically important in the treatment of multiply injured combat casualties, and major blood loss during complex spine trauma surgery is a significant concern. Similar to previous studies in dental, cardiac, and total knee arthroplasty procedures, the use of topical tranexamic acid during complex combat related spine trauma surgery can be a cost-effective and simple route of administration to reduce blood loss, with no significant systemic effects. Patients would be expected to benefit immediately by decreasing blood loss and the need for blood transfusion postoperatively, thereby exposing them to less risk of transfusion reactions or disease transmission. This may also potentially decrease the rate of surgical site infection because patients have been found to have a significantly increased risk for surgical site infection after blood transfusion due to changes in the immune system, and by also decreasing the amount of blood that collects under the surgical wound, which serves as excellent medium for bacterial growth. The goal of the investigators study is to determine if the use of topical tranexamic acid (TXA) in the setting of complex spine trauma surgery reduces blood loss, and subsequently reduces the rate of allogenic blood transfusion and surgical site infection.


Spinal Injuries, Spinal Deformity, Tranexamic acid, Antifibrinolytic, Perioperative blood loss, Postoperative drain output, Allogenic transfusion, Hemorrhage


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18-80

  1. Thoracic or lumbar spinal column injury with or without neurologic deficit requiring surgical fixation
  2. Surgical fixation to be performed within 21 days of injury
  3. Adult patients undergoing long segment (>5 fusion levels) posterior spinal fusions

You CAN'T join if...

  1. Age <18 or >80 years old
  2. Severe soft tissue disruption around planned surgical site preventing adequate primary wound closure
  3. Physiologic instability or ongoing sepsis/infection
  4. Use of intravenous tranexamic acid during the pre-study period
  5. Ballistic spinal column injury
  6. Allergy to tranexamic acid
  7. Disturbances of color vision or color blindness
  8. Pre-operative hemoglobin value of <7 g/dL, or <10 g/dL if patient has comorbidities or symptoms which will require pre-operative allogeneic blood transfusion
  9. Refusal to consent for blood products

    10. Participation in another clinical trial 11. Moderate or severe traumatic brain injuries that do not allow participation in

    individual patient outcomes surveys

    12. Subarachnoid hemorrhage, anecdotal experience indicates that cerebral edema and

    cerebral infarction may be caused by TXA

    13. Concomitant use of Factor IX Complex concentrates or Anti-inhibitor Coagulant

    concentrates, as the risk of thrombosis may be increased

    14. Preoperative use of anticoagulant therapy (heparin, low-molecular weight heparin,

    warfarin) within three days before surgery, or non-steroid inflammatory medication (aspirin, ibuprofen, naprosyn) use within seven days before surgery

    15. Fibrinolytic disorders requiring intraoperative antifibrinolytic treatment 16. Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) 17. Coagulopathy (as identified by a preoperative platelet count of <150,000/mm3, an

    international normalized ratio of >1.4, or a prolonged partial thromboplastin time >1.4 times normal)

    18. History of arterial or venous thromboembolic disease (such as a cerebrovascular

    accident, deep-vein thrombosis, or pulmonary embolus), as these patients may be at increased risk for venous or arterial thrombosis

    19. Upper urinary tract or ureteral injury (ureteral obstruction due to clot formation in

    patients with upper urinary tract bleeding has been reported)

    20. Pregnancy or breastfeeding (Category B) 21. Substantial renal dysfunction (as assessed by a serum creatinine > 1.5 or calculated

    creatinine clearance of < 50) or hepatic failure

    22. Major co-morbidities: alcohol or drug abuse, illnesses that affect bone or calcium

    metabolism, connective tissue disorders, coronary artery disease, severe ischemic heart disease [New York Heart Association Class III or IV], previous myocardial infarction, severe pulmonary disease [forced expiratory volume <50% of normal], diabetes mellitus (Type I or Type II), immunosuppression, peripheral vascular disease, severe penetrating or hemorrhagic traumatic brain injury, a history of skeletal malignancies, prior external beam or implant radiation therapy involving the skeleton.

    23. History of seizure or convulsive disorders, or currently concomitant use of other

    medications that are known to reduce seizure threshold

    24. History of dural tear or open subdural space


  • UCSF Medical Center not yet accepting patients
    San Francisco California 94149 United States
  • Madigan Army Medical Center not yet accepting patients
    Tacoma Washington 98431 United States
  • NYP/The Allen Hospital - CUIMC accepting new patients
    New York New York 10032 United States


accepting new patients at some sites,
but this study is not currently recruiting here
Start Date
Completion Date
Columbia University
Phase 2/3 research study
Study Type
Expecting 252 study participants
Last Updated