What Is PRP?

Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP is a common method in all fields of medicine for boosting tissue regeneration. This includes cell migration, proliferation, and differentiation, which results in speedy wound healing and even aids anti-aging.

PRP does all of that by taking the patient’s own blood and injecting it back into the wound site. Moreover, this blood is high in concentration of platelets and growth factors, which is what gives PRP treatment its effectiveness.

This high concentration of growth factors administered to the wound site means a higher rate of mitogenic, angiogenic, chemotactic, and fibrinogen-rich adhesive properties. However, PRP is much more than growth factors and can stimulate wound healing efficiently.

PRP for Chronic Venous Leg Ulcers

PRP started in the year 1980 as regenerative therapy and turned into an oral and mandibular medication by the 1990s. By 2000’, different uses of PRP had emerged including that for Chronic Venous Leg Ulcers.

In fact, the first clinical application of PRP was for chronic venous leg ulcers, and the product was called the Platelet-Derived Wound-Healing Formula [1].

Preparation of PRP Injections for Ulcers

Usually, experts use an autologous technique, which is injecting the patient’s own blood back into their body. However, homologous techniques are also a considerable option.

The doctor will insert the blood in a centrifuge. The next step is separating the platelets. Thus, the remaining blood is rich in growth factors and low in plasma. Hence, this blood becomes part of the PRP therapy for Chronic Venous Leg Ulcers.

Administration of PRP for Ulcers

PRP injection for chronic ulcers starts taking its effect within 10 minutes of inserting the fluid into the edges of the wound. However, a multitude of factors can affect the results of these injections. These include genetic and environmental predispositions.

However, generally, the doctor will clean and debride the wound before the administration of PRP injections. However, in case any necrotic tissue is present at the site of the wound, the doctor will remove it surgically before PRP. Otherwise, the dead cells may take up all the regenerative energies of the PRP injections.

The Risks Associated With PRP for Ulcers

Multiple factors can affect PRP results. Moreover, the results vary from individual to individual. Hence, it can be difficult to pinpoint a concrete side effect.

For example, even if centrifugation leaves the platelet count at a constant ratio, every PRP injection fluid has a different amount of white blood cells present; this can disproportionately affect the clinical results.

Additionally, the excessive growth factor can lead to receptor mutation, which can mess up different bodily functions to cause hyperthyroidism, obesity or unnecessary swelling. [2]

However, generally, PRP has no adverse effects, risks of infection [3], tumor triggering [4] or hypoallergic reactions.

Sources:

[1] Knighton DR, Ciresi K, Fiegel VD, Schumerth S, Butler E, Cerra F. Stimulation of repair in chronic, nonhealing, cutaneous ulcers using platelet-derived wound healing formula. Surg Gynecol Obstet. 1990;170:56–60.

[2]Martinez-Gonzalez JM, Cano-Sanchez J, Gonzalo-Lafuente JC, Campo-Trapero J, Esparza-Gomez G, Seoane J. Do ambulatory-use platelet-rich plasma (PRP) concentrates present risks? Med Oral. 2002;7:375–390.

[3] Martinez-Zapata MJ, Martí-Carvajal AJ, Solà I, et al. Autologous platelet-rich plasma for treating chronic wounds. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016;5:CD006899.

[4]Martinez-Gonzalez JM, Cano-Sanchez J, Gonzalo-Lafuente JC, Campo-Trapero J, Esparza-Gomez G, Seoane J. Do ambulatory-use platelet-rich plasma (PRP) concentrates present risks? Med Oral. 2002;7:375–390.