The Efficacy of Platelet-rich Plasma Gel and Topical Estradiol Alone or in Combination on Healing of Full-thickness Wounds
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A study on post-menopausal women showed that topical estradiol treatment has provided a significant increase in hydroxyproline and collagen content of the skin.36 Another study on elderly men and women investigated the effect of topical estrogen on wound healing; the amount of collagen in the estrogen-treated group showed a constant increase in both genders compared to the placebo group.28,37 Full-thickness wounds (with substantial loss) were created in the back of ovariectomized young female rats and local intradermal estradiol was injected; re-epithelization and collagen deposition was increased and wound healing was facilitated in the treatment group. Cellular mechanisms suggested to be responsible for these changes are increased secretion of latent TGF-β1 by dermal fibroblasts that were stimulated by estrogen.11 In the present study, fibrosis was moderate in all groups on day 7, but became intense on days 14 and 21. Absence of a notable difference between the groups may be due to the use of young and intact females that possess high levels of estrogen. Collagen and hydroxyproline levels increased steadily in all groups over time, especially on day 14. Although statistically insignificant, the increase was greater in the PRP gel + estradiol-treated group compared to the other groups.
PRP contains EGF, which induces replication, migration, and stimulation of the basal skin cells and mucous membrane, which form the components of the basement membrane.35 These increases are consistent with other studies.17,38 Carter et al38 found that treatment of lower equine limb wounds with PRP induced accelerated epithelial differentiation and produced tissue with organized, interlocking collagen bundles. Marx17 determined that patients had earlier and faster epithelization with less pain in PRP-treated split-thickness skin graft donor sites. Estrogen was shown to accelerate the wound-healing process with faster epithelization and suppressing the inflammatory response with a concurrent increase in matrix deposition.11 In the present study, slight epithelization was present only in the PRP gel + estradiol-treated group on day 7 of the study, whereas, no epithelization was observed in the other groups. No significant differences were observed between the treatment groups and the sterile saline solution group regarding epithelization on day 14, but the epithelization rate was higher in PRP gel-treated and PRP gel + estradiol-treated groups than in the other groups. Epithelization started in the early period due to a shortened latent period, even though it was an open wound. Bandyopadhyay et al39 report that human serum selectively promotes epidermal cell migration and halts dermal cell migration. In contrast, human plasma promotes dermal but not epidermal cell migration. In this study, the PRP gel and estradiol combination seemed to have a tendency to accelerate epidermal cell migration. The estradiol may help to promote epidermal cell migration.
Clinical evaluation showed that wound healing was faster and hydroxyproline content was the highest in the group that was treated with PRP gel and estradiol combination compared to the sterile saline solution group. Histopathological evaluation showed that angiogenesis and epithelization started in the first week and advanced rapidly. This may indicate that the combined use of estradiol and PRP gel accelerates the inflammatory reaction and initiates the healing process earlier.
Two limitations of this study were the small sample size and use of female rabbits led to statistical outcomes that might not have been sensitive enough to detect the differences caused by the treatments in all cases. This might have affected the results, and therefore, the conclusions of this study.
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