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September 1997

Topical Aminocaproic Acid in the Treatment of Traumatic Hyphema

Arch Ophthalmol. 1997;115(9):1106-1112. doi:10.1001/archopht.1997.01100160276001

Objectives:  To determine whether topically applied aminocaproic acid, like systemic aminocaproic acid, effectively reduces secondary hemorrhage after hyphemas and to compare the safety and effectiveness of topical application with those of systemic use and a control group.

Design:  A prospective, randomized, double-masked, multicenter study.

Patients:  Sixty-four patients with traumatic hyphema treated with topical or systemic aminocaproic acid and compared with 54 control patients with hyphema. Daily slitlamp examinations for hyphema grading and corneal clarity, initial and final visual acuity, applanation tonometry, and fundus indirect ophthalmoscopy were studied. Follow-up was 6 months to 5½ years (mean, 2.96 years).

Results:  Compared with the control group, topical and systemic aminocaproic acid was statistically significant in preventing secondary hemorrhage. Only 3% (2/64) of the patients who received topical or systemic aminocaproic acid had secondary hemorrhage compared with 22% (12/54) of the control group (P=.002). Final visual acuity was 20/40 or better in 30 patients (86%) in the topical group compared with 23 patients (43%) in the control group (P<.001). Final visual acuity was 20/40 or better in 20 patients (69%) in the systemic aminocaproic acid group compared with 23 patients (43%) in the control group (P=.04). The topical aminocaproic acid group had a final visual acuity of 20/40 or better in 86% of patients, compared with 69% of patients in the systemic group.

Conclusions:  Topical aminocaproic acid appears to be a safe, effective treatment to prevent secondary hemorrhage in traumatic hyphema. It is as effective as systemic aminocaproic acid in reducing secondary hemorrhage. No systemic side effects were observed with topical use. Topical aminocaproic acid provides an effective out-patient treatment for traumatic hyphemas.