Double-blinded, placebo-controlled study of early tranexamic acid treatment in swine uncontrolled hemorrhage model

Jill L. Sondeen, Margaret A. Hanson, Malcolm D. Prince, Rodolfo De Guzman, Irene A. Polykratis, James K. Aden, Andrew P. Cap, Michael A. Dubick*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Tranexamic acid (TXA) is an antifibrinolytic drug that was shown to increase survival in trauma patients, but the mechanisms remain unclear. The purpose of this double-blinded, randomized placebo-controlled study was to determine if TXAwith hypotensive resuscitation with Hextend (HEX) or fresh frozen plasma (FFP) reduced blood loss (BL) and improved survival in a model of uncontrolled hemorrhage. METHODS: Instrumented, anesthetized pigs (n = 11 per group) were subjected to 24-mL/kg controlled hemorrhage, followed by transection of the spleen. After 15 minutes of bleeding, TXA (1.43 mg/kg/min) or normal saline (NS) was given over 10 minutes, and then 15-mL/kg HEX or FFP was administered. At 90 minutes, a second infusion of TXA or NS was given. BL, coagulation status, and 5-hour survival were determined. Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) was added to blood samples collected before and after TXA administration to confirm that the TXA inhibited fibrinolysis. In addition, a comparison of a dose response to tPA-induced fibrinolysis was made between swine and human plasma in vitro. RESULTS: TXA prevented the rise in D-dimers that occurred after spleen injury. However, there was no significant effect of TXA on survival or BL compared with NS with HEX (HEX + NS, 17 ± 2 mL/kg vs. HEX + TXA, 17 ± 2 mL/kg) or FFP (FFP + NS, 7 ± 2 mL/kg vs. FFP + TXA, 12 ± 3 mL/kg), while FFP significantly reduced BL and increased survival compared with HEX in the NS-treated animals. The tPAinduced fibrinolysis was inhibited in the blood from TXA-treated animals, yet in fibrinolysis sensitivity studies, human plasma was 30 times more sensitive to tPA-induced fibrinolysis than swine plasma. CONCLUSION: TXA did not reduce BL, even though TXAwas antifibrinolytic in the pigs. The possibility remains that the pig is highly resistant to fibrinolysis and not a good model to study the effects of antifibrinolytics or that fibrinolysis is not a major factor in bleeding from splenic injury. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2016;80: 81-88.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-88
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016


  • Combat casualty care
  • Hemorrhagic shock
  • Plasma
  • Swine
  • Tranexamic acid


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