Optimal use of intravenous tranexamic acid for hemorrhage prevention in pregnant women

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology




pharmacodynamic; pharmacokinetic; postpartum hemorrhage; prevention; tranexamic acid


© 2020 Elsevier Inc. Background: Every 2 minutes, there is a pregnancy-related death worldwide, with one-third caused by severe postpartum hemorrhage. Although international trials demonstrated the efficacy of 1000 mg tranexamic acid in treating postpartum hemorrhage, to the best of our knowledge, there are no dose-finding studies of tranexamic acid on pregnant women for postpartum hemorrhage prevention. Objective: This study aimed to determine the optimal tranexamic acid dose needed to prevent postpartum hemorrhage. Study Design: We enrolled 30 pregnant women undergoing scheduled cesarean delivery in an open-label, dose ranging study. Subjects were divided into 3 cohorts receiving 5, 10, or 15 mg/kg (maximum, 1000 mg) of intravenous tranexamic acid at umbilical cord clamping. The inclusion criteria were ≥34 week's gestation and normal renal function. The primary endpoints were pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles. Tranexamic acid plasma concentration of >10 μg/mL and maximum lysis of <17% were defined as therapeutic targets independent to the current study. Rotational thromboelastometry of tissue plasminogen activator–spiked samples was used to evaluate pharmacodynamic profiles at time points up to 24 hours after tranexamic acid administration. Safety was assessed by plasma thrombin generation, D-dimer, and tranexamic acid concentrations in breast milk. Results: There were no serious adverse events including venous thromboembolism. Plasma concentrations of tranexamic acid increased in a dose-proportional manner. The lowest dose cohort received an average of 448±87 mg tranexamic acid. Plasma tranexamic acid exceeded 10 μg/mL and maximum lysis was <17% at >1 hour after administration for all tranexamic acid doses tested. Median estimated blood loss for cohorts receiving 5, 10, or 15 mg/kg tranexamic acid was 750, 750, and 700 mL, respectively. Plasma thrombin generation did not increase with higher tranexamic acid concentrations. D-dimer changes from baseline were not different among the cohorts. Breast milk tranexamic acid concentrations were 1% or less than maternal plasma concentrations. Conclusion: Although large randomized trials are necessary to support the clinical efficacy of tranexamic acid for prophylaxis, we propose an optimal dose of 600 mg in future tranexamic acid efficacy studies to prevent postpartum hemorrhage.