Temporally and regionally disparate differences in plasmin activity by tranexamic acid

Daryl L. Reust, Scott T. Reeves, James H. Abernathy, Jennifer A. Dixon, William F. Gaillard, Rupak Mukherjee, Christine N. Koval, Robert E. Stroud, Francis G. Spinale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: A major complication associated with cardiac surgery is excessive and prolonged bleeding in the perioperative period. Improving coagulation by inhibiting fibrinolysis, primarily through inhibition of plasmin activity (PLact) with antifibrinolytics such as tranexamic acid (TXA), has been a pharmacological mainstay in cardiac surgical patients. Despite its almost ubiquitous use, the temporal and regional modulation of PLact profiles by TXA remains unexplored. Accordingly, we developed a fluorogenic-microdialysis system to measure in vivo dynamic changes in PLact after TXA administration in a large animal model. Methods: Pigs (25-35 kg) were randomly assigned to receive TXA (30 mg/kg, diluted into 50 mL normal saline; n = 9) or vehicle (50 mL normal saline; n = 7). Microdialysis probes were placed in the liver, myocardium, kidney, and quadriceps muscle compartments. The microdialysate infusion contained a validated plasmin-specific fluorogenic peptide. The fluorescence emission (standard fluorogenic units [SFU]) of the interstitial fluid collected from the microdialysis probes, which directly reflects PLact, was determined at steady-state baseline and 30, 60, 90, and 120 min after TXA/vehicle infusion. Plasma PLact was determined at the same time points using the same fluorogenic substrate approach. Results: TXA reduced plasma PLact at 30 min after infusion by >110 SFU compared with vehicle values (P < 0.05). Specifically, there was a decrease in liver PLact at 90 and 120 min after TXA infusion of >150 SFU (P < 0.05) and 175 SFU (P < 0.05), respectively. The decrease in liver PLact occurred 60 min after the maximal decrease in plasma PLact. In contrast, kidney, heart, and quadriceps PLact transiently increased followed by an overall decrease at 120 min. Conclusions: Using a large animal model and in vivo microdialysis measurements of PLact, the unique findings from this study were 2-fold. First, TXA induced temporally distinct PLact profiles within the plasma and selected interstitial compartments. Second, TXA caused region-specific changes in PLact profiles. These temporal and regional differences in the effects of TXA may have important therapeutic considerations when managing fibrinolysis in the perioperative period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)694-701
Number of pages8
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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