PRP injections provide a way for your body to heal naturally. This is a feat made possible by platelet-rich plasma.
PRP has gained a lot of popularity over the last decade.
WHAT EXACTLY IS PLATELET-RICH PLASMA?
Platelet-rich plasma is a product made from human blood. Blood samples containing PRP tubes are centrifuged in a PRP centrifuge to increase the concentration of platelets in plasma. The result is a highly enriched plasma with a platelet concentration of 94% compared to the 6% found in normal human blood.
HOW PLATELETS HEAL THE BODY?
Among other things, the plasma contains certain substances that aid in wound healing, these are also known as growth factors. All together they form a complex system which is quickly activated at the time of injury and ensures the quickest possible regeneration. This healing power allows the body to protect itself very effectively.
A normal blood sample consists of 93% red blood cells, 6% platelets, and 1% white blood cells.
Platelets were first observed in blood by French physician Alfred Donné in 1842. These are small disc-shaped cells with a lifespan between 7 to 10 days.
After injury that causes bleeding, platelets are activated and aggregate, releasing granules containing growth factors that stimulate the inflammatory cascade and healing process. Platelets are involved in hemostasis, formation of new connective tissue, and revascularization, and most of the research in the last century has focused on this important function.
In the last 20 years, it has been found that platelet activation releases healing proteins in the body called growth factors.
There are numerous growth factors with different functions, but cumulatively they can promote tissue and wound healing.
The ideology behind PRP treatment is to reduce red blood cells to 5% (which is not very useful for the healing process) and, more importantly, to concentrate platelets, which are powerful platelets, which contain a potent mixture of growth factors, to 94%.
A normal platelet count in a healthy person is 150,000 to 450,000 cells per microliter of blood. Platelet concentrations below 1,000 x 10 6 /ml are unreliable in promoting wound healing, and most studies indicate that tissue repair efficacy with PRP is at least five times higher than normal platelet concentrations (approximately) 1 million. No further improvement in wound healing was seen at much higher concentrations.
The ideal concentration has not yet been defined. The large variability in platelet concentration devices and techniques used in different studies can alter platelet degranulation properties, which can affect clinical outcomes and complicate interpretation of results.
ELEMENTS OF PLATELET-RICH PLASMA
In addition to being high in platelets, platelet-rich plasma is also a great source of growth factors, which are essential for wound healing :
- Connective tissue growth factor
- Fibroblast growth factor
- Transforming growth factor beta
- Epidermal growth factor
- Interleukin 8
- Vascular endothelial growth factor
- Insulin-like growth factor 1
- Insulin-like growth factor 2
- Platelet-derived growth factor
- Keratinocyte growth factor
Blood proteins including fibrin, vitronectin, and fibronectin are also present in PRP.