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Effects of a high-dose 24-h infusion of tranexamic acid on death and thromboembolic events in patients with acute gastrointestinal bleeding (HALT-IT): an international randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
Summary Background: Tranexamic acid reduces surgical bleeding and reduces death due to bleeding in patients with trauma. Meta-analyses of small trials show that tranexamic acid might decrease deaths from gastrointestinal bleeding. We aimed to assess the effects of tranexamic acid in patients with gastrointestinal bleeding.
Findings: Between July 4, 2013, and June 21, 2019, we randomly allocated 12 009 patients to receive tranexamic acid (5994, 49·9%) or matching placebo (6015, 50·1%), of whom 11 952 (99·5%) received the first dose of the allocated treatment. Death due to bleeding within 5 days of randomisation occurred in 222 (4%) of 5956 patients in the tranexamic acid group and in 226 (4%) of 5981 patients in the placebo group (risk ratio [RR] 0·99, 95% CI 0·82–1·18). Arterial thromboembolic events (myocardial infarction or stroke) were similar in the tranexamic acid group and placebo group (42 [0·7%] of 5952 vs 46 [0·8%] of 5977; 0·92; 0·60 to 1·39). Venous thromboembolic events (deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism) were higher in tranexamic acid group than in the placebo group (48 [0·8%] of 5952 vs 26 [0·4%] of 5977; RR 1·85; 95% CI 1·15 to 2·98).
Interpretation We found that tranexamic acid did not reduce death from gastrointestinal bleeding. On the basis of our results, tranexamic acid should not be used for the treatment of gastrointestinal bleeding outside the context of a randomised trial.