The Use of Tranexamic Acid for Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding by Medical and Surgical Intensivists: A Single Center Experience

Jason Chertoff, Grant Lowther, Hassan Alnuaimat, Ali Ataya


Background: Tranexamic acid (TXA) may be beneficial in the management of upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB). We sought to investigate how frequently intensivists at our academic institution use TXA for patients with UGIB, and to investigate whether the utilization rate of TXA differs between surgical and medical intensivists, and provide an updated literature review on the subject.

Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of patients admitted for UGIB to the surgical intensive care unit (SICU) and the medical intensive care unit (MICU) at our academic healthcare facility (University of Florida Health - Shands Hospital) from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2016. The patients were categorized as receiving or not receiving TXA. The overall utilization rate of TXA was calculated, and the utilization rates for the MICU and SICU were compared using a two-sample test for equality of two proportions with continuity correction.

Results: The study cohort included a total of 1,829 patients with a diagnosis of UGIB. Of those, 988 were treated in the MICU and 841 were treated in the SICU. Of the 988 patients in the MICU, six received TXA (0.61%), while 10 (1.19%) of the 841 patients in the SICU received TXA. The overall utilization rate of TXA was 0.87%. The odds of receiving TXA in the SICU were 1.97 times greater than in the MICU (odds ratio (OR): 1.97, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.74 - 5.2, P = 1.83).

Conclusions: Our study suggests that TXA may be underused in the management of UGIB, and that the utilization rate does not differ significantly between surgical and medical intensivists.

Gastroenterol Res. 2017;10(4):235-237


Tranexamic acid; Upper gastrointestinal bleeding; Intensivists

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