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All About Platelet Rich Plasma

Written and reviewed by
Dr. P. Sharat Kumar 88% (122 ratings)
FFSEM, MFSEM, DIP - SEM GB & I, MCh - Orthopaedics, MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS
Orthopedic Doctor, Hyderabad  •  32 years experience
All About Platelet Rich Plasma

Blood plasma enriched with platelets is known as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). Being a rich source of similar platelets, PRP can perform healing of tissues and bone by using various cytokines and growth factors. Plasma therapy using platelets is a renowned procedure and is extensively used in other methods such as orthopaedics, dentistry and dermatology. Indications in dermatology that require PRP are wound healing, androgenetic alopecia,face rejuvenation etc. Various protocols are used for the preparation of PRP and although no fixed procedure exists, the principle methods include gathering of platelets in groups, which are 3 to 5 times greater than the physiological quality. This is followed by infusing this concentrated plasma in the tissue where recuperation is needed.

PRP is used in tissue repair due to the growth factors present and their efficiency to heal various injuries. Calcium chloride and thrombin are used to activate the platelets that are gathered in the PRP. PRP contains cytokines and growth factors that include:

  1. Keratinocyte growth factor
  2. Fibroblast growth factor
  3. Insulin-like growth factor 1
  4. Insulin-like growth factor 2
  5. Platelet-derived growth factor
  6. Epidermal growth factor
  7. Transforming growth factor


The effectiveness of PRP is being evaluated through research. The effectiveness is influenced by factors such as


  1. Area of the body that is treated
  2. Whether the illness is chronic or acute
  3. Health of the patient

There are two standard methods of preparation of PRP. In both the processes, the patient's blood (anticoagulated using citrate dextrose) is collected and passed through two centrifugation processes, which are designed to separate the concentrated PRP from the red blood cells and plasma deficient platelets. Production of PRPs vary according to different techniques and equipment.

Clinical Applications:
In humans, PRP has been used to treat different kinds of ailments such as androgenic alopecia, osteoarthritis, nerve injury, plantar fasciitis and chronic tendinitis. It is also used in plastic and oral surgery as well as for bone repair. Following 6 weeks of therapy, the patients are advised to rest. 6-12 weeks later, they are re-checked for improvement. In some cases, there might be a requirement of more than one injection. Most of the patients report that they are able to return to normal activities within 3 months.

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