The role of platelets in hemostasis and triggering healing suggest that platelet-rich plasma (PRP) preparations may be likely to enhance healing. Some acute wound studies reported improved acute wound healing and reduc edwound-related pain of PRP-treated burns1 and split-thickness skin graft (STSG) donor sites.2 However, the observed effects may have resulted from procedural artifacts such as use of moisture-retentive dressings to seal the PRP in place or variables other than the PRP interventions.3 A recent review reported inconsistent PRP effects among wound outcomes of 5 randomized clinical trials on acute wound healing and called for more accurate, uniform reporting of platelet concentrations, harvesting, activation and preparation procedures, formulations, frequency and routes of administration, and more consistent outcomes reporting to allow stronger conclusions about PRP effects on acute wound healing and patient-centered outcomes.4 Effects of PRP on chronic wounds also remain controversial. Chronic diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) were reported to heal faster when treated with autologous PRP,5 but issues of adherence to protocol prevented a full intent-to-treat analysis, opening these results to question. The 2 studies described here, 1 on STSG6 and 1 on DFUs,7 clarify some questions surrounding PRP effects on acute or chronic wounds while raising some interesting possibilities for the mechanism of action.
Laura Bolton, PhD
Adjunct Associate Professor
Department of Surgery
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
New Brunswick, NJ