Platelet Rich Plasma for Symptomatic Knee Arthritis

With increasing frequency, platelet rich plasma (PRP) is being used in the United States to treat cartilage lesions, regenerate tissue homeostasis, and retard the progression of knee arthritis. The available scientific evidence is compatible with positive effects in patients with knee arthritis by means of diminishing pain and improving symptoms and quality of life. In spite of these observations, the clinical efficacy of PRP remains under debate; a standardized protocol has not yet been established. The big controversy has been over White Blood Cells (WBCs) and Red Blood Cells (RBCs); should the PRP include or exclude either or both? Platelet Rich Plasma is loaded with growth factors that serve as anti-inlammatories. As well, we know that the target tissue for PRP is the Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC); the latter having the ability to differentiate into and effect repair in cartilage, bone, muscle, ligament and tendon. As a result, your PRP prompts the body’s resident MSCs to proliferate. Studies show that PRP without RBCs and WBCs recruit a larger number of stem cells. By the same token, concentrated PRPs are more effective than standard PRP preps as you age. So what should you have learned from reading this brief continued patient education initiative?

1)    Blood and white cells in Platelet Rich Plasma may inhibit Mesenchymal Stem Cell growth

2)    PRP has growth factors which serve as anti-inflammatories and stimulate MSC proliferation

3)    Platelet Rich Plasma concentration promotes more significant effects than when not concentrated, especially as we age