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Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP)

Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP)

Wound healing is a complex process in which a wide range of components are involved.

The platelets have a role in it due to the blood clotting function, the presence of cytokines and growth factors, such as platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), and so on.

Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) is an autologous (it means that cells or tissues have been obtained from the same patient) treatment derived from the patient’s blood.

The autologous technique reduces the risk of transmission of infection and immunological reaction comparing with other techniques.   

The blood has different components:

  • red blood cells
  • white blood cells 
  • plasma 
  • platelets 

Platelets support the wound healing process. The PRP technique consists of PRP extraction and injection in the wound or in the area that has to be treated, promoting tissue regeneration. 

Only a small amount of blood is drawn from the patient’s vein. In order to obtain the PRP the sample is processed in a centrifuge by a technician. This process splits the different blood components (white and red blood cells from the platelets and plasma). At the end of the procedure, the separated plasma contains a high density of platelets that are ready to be injected for the wound healing. 

 Before using PRP, it is necessary to disinfect the skin and prepare a surgical sterile camp to avoid infection of the wound. Any necrotic tissue and slough should be removed using usually a curette, which is a small surgical instrument. Sometime debridement needs local anaesthesia or a nerve block. If the wound is infected an antibiotic treatment should be taken before the procedure. Finally, the PRP is injected in the target area. 

The PRP treatment has a wide range of clinical indications for different kind of wounds. Numerous scientific articles have been published for the treatment of venous ulcers, for diabetic foot ulcers, acute and traumatic wounds and selected clinical cases with pressure injuries.

In these last years, it has been used even for treatment in orthopaedic, dermatology, dentistry, plastic and rejuvenation treatment and so on.