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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research
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eISSN: 1643-3750

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Comparison of Cytotoxic Effects of Intra-Articular Use of Tranexamic Acid versus Epinephrine on Rat Cartilage

Erhan Sukur, Fatih Kucukdurmaz

(Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Sakarya Research and Training Hospital, Sakarya, Turkey)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: ANS1166-1170

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.908560


BACKGROUND: Adequate visualization is known to be essential to perform arthroscopic procedures effectively and efficiently. We hypothesized that tranexamic acid may be considered as an alternative agent to reduce intra-articular bleeding during arthroscopic procedures, after comparing its potential chondrotoxicity with that of epinephrine.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Seventy-two rats were randomized into 3 groups with 24 rats each. The injections were performed in the right knees, as follows: Group 1: 0.25 mL of tranexamic acid solution, Group 2: 0.25 mL of epinephrine solution, and Group 3: 0.25 mL of 0.9% saline, serving as control. One week after the injections, the animals were euthanized. Samples were evaluated histologically based on the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) Histopathology Grading and Staging System and the “live/dead” staining technique to determine chondrocyte viability.
RESULTS: Comparison of epinephrine and tranexamic acid revealed significantly higher OARSI scores in the epinephrine group (epinephrine: 3.42±1.31, TA: 0.92±0.90; P<0.001). The most significant difference between the 2 groups was in the number of joints diagnosed with OARSI grade III. The percentage of viability was significantly higher in the tranexamic acid group when compared with the epinephrine group (tranexamic acid: 79.74±3.343; epinephrine: 63.81±1.914; P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Based on the histologic parameters and chondrocyte viability, tranexamic acid is less cytotoxic than epinephrine in rat chondrocytes at the doses typically used in irrigation fluid, and may be a good alternative to epinephrine in arthroscopic surgery.

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