Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

IntroductionTranexamic acid (TXA) has been shown to be effective at reducing peri-operative blood loss and haemarthrosis in arthroplasty and arthroscopic soft tissue reconstructions. Intra-articular application, as an injection or peri-articular wash, is becoming increasingly common. Recent studies have shown TXA has the potential to be cytotoxic to cartilage, but its effects on human tendon and bone remain poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate whether TXA has any detrimental effects on tendon-derived cells and osteoblast-like cells and determine whether there is a safe dosage for clinical application.Materials and methodsPrimary tendon-derived cells and osteoblast-like cells were harvested from hamstring tendons and trabecular bone explants, respectively, and analysed in vitro with a range of TXA concentrations (0 to 100 mg/ml) at time points: 3 and 24 h. The in vitro toxic effect of TXA was investigated using viability assays (alamarBlue), functional assays (collagen deposition), fluorescent microscopy and live/apoptosis/necrosis staining for cell death mechanisms in 2D monolayer and 3D collagen gel cell culture.ResultsThere was a significant (P  35 mg/ml resulted in significantly (P ConclusionsTopical TXA treatment demonstrated dose- and time-dependent cytotoxicity to tendon-derived cells and osteoblast-like cells with concentrations 20 mg/ml and above in isolated 2D and 3D in vitro culture. On the basis of these findings, concentrations of less than 20 mg/ml are expected to be safe. Orthopaedic surgeons should show caution when considering topical TXA treatments, particularly in soft tissue and un-cemented arthroplasty procedures.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of orthopaedic surgery and research

Publication Date





Faculty of Medical and Heath Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.


Tendons, Humans, Blood Loss, Surgical, Tranexamic Acid, Antifibrinolytic Agents, Injections, Intra-Articular