Tranexamic acid decreases rodent hemorrhagic shock-induced inflammation with mixed end-organ effects

Patrick F. Walker*, Anthony D. Foster, Philip A. Rothberg, Thomas A. Davis, Matthew J. Bradley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Beyond its anti-fibrinolytic mechanism, tranexamic acid has been suggested to have anti-inflammatory properties which may contribute to the survival benefit it provides to trauma patients. The objective of this study was to assess possible immunomodulatory effects of tranexamic acid as well as potential amelioration of end-organ injury in a rodent hemorrhagic shock model. Controlled hemorrhagic shock was induced in adult Sprague Dawley rats to a mean arterial pressure of 30 mmHg. Groups of 10 rats were administered intravenous tranexamic acid (300mg/kg) or vehicle control (normal saline) intravenously 15 minutes after the induction of shock. After 60 minutes of hemorrhagic shock, resuscitation was started. Animals were euthanized at six, 24, or 72 hours from the start of shock. Serum laboratory values to include inflammatory biomarkers were measured, and end organ histology was evaluated. Tranexamic acid treatment was associated with a significant decrease in serum IL-1β at six and 24 hours and IL-10 at 24 hours from start of shock compared to vehicle control. Histologic analysis demonstrated mild decreases in both perivascular pulmonary edema and follicular mesenteric lymph node hyperplasia in the tranexamic acid treatment group but also increased myocardial lymphocytic infiltration with necrosis and degeneration. Tranexamic acid was also associated with a small but significant increase in peripheral neutrophil count as well as a significant decrease in neutrophil aggregation in pulmonary tissue at six hours post-injury. These data thus demonstrate a mixed effect of tranexamic acid. While there was an improvement in pulmonary edema and a suppressive effect on several key inflammatory mediators, there was also increased myocardial degeneration and necrosis, which is possibly related to the pro-thrombotic effect of tranexamic acid.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0208249
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


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