Similar to an Autologous Blood Injection (ABI) a Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injection also exploits the healing factors found in platelets.
Unlike an ABI, a larger sample of blood is taken so that it is concentrated by spinning it in a centrifuge. A centrifuge separates the cells in blood into three main components: red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. The platelets are then selectively withdrawn and delivered to the diseased tendon, with an 8-10 fold increase in the number of platelets delivered. This is theoretically felt to improve the chances of healing, however is as yet is unproven.
As for Autologous Blood Injection, any tendon, ligament or muscle may be targeted for treatment.
PRP and the treatment of osteoarthritis
Platelet Rich Plasma therapy can be used for the treatment of osteoarthritis of joints in order to alleviate symptoms such as pain and stiffness, as well as to delay any proposed replacement surgery. This can be used for osteoarthritis of any joint, with common joints treated being the knee, ankle and hip.
An ultrasound machine is used to guide the safe and accurate delivery of PRP into a patient’s arthritic knee.
- Mishra A, Woodall J Jr, Vieira A. Treatment of tendon and muscle using platelet-rich plasma. Clin Sports Med 28(1):113-25, 2009
- Hammond JW, Hinton RY, Curl LA, Muriel JM, Lovering Rm. Use of Autologous Platelet-rich Plasma to Treat Muscle Strain Injuries. Am J Sports Med 37(6):1135-42, 2009
- Mishra A, Pavelko T. Treatment of chronic elbow tendinosis with buffered platelet-rich plasma. Am J Sports Med 2006 Nov;34(11):1774-8. Epub 2006 May 30
- Kajikawa Y, Morihara T, Sakamoto H, Matsuda K, Oshima Y, Yoshida A, Nagae M, Arai Y, Kawata M, Kubo T. Platelet-rich plasma enhances the initial mobilization of circulation-derived cells for tendon healing. J Cell Physiol 215(3):837-45, 2008
Referring doctors are welcome to discuss with our radiologists the imaging and interventional radiology needs of their patients and whether a PRP injection is suitable for their patient’s medical condition.