What is Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy

Androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness is a very common type of hair loss observed in both males and females. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an autologous preparation of platelets in concentrated plasma. Although the optimal PRP platelet concentration is unclear, the current methods by which PRP is prepared report 300-700% enrichment, with platelet concentrations consequently increasing to more than 1,000,000 platelets/L.[] PRP has attracted attention in several medical fields because of its ability to promote wound healing.

Activation of alpha granules of platelets releases numerous proteins, including platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming growth factor (TGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), insulin-like growth factor (IGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF) and interleukin (IL)-1.[,] It is hypothesised that growth factors released from platelets may act on stem cells in the bulge area of the follicles, stimulating the development of new follicles and promoting neovascularisation.[] The aim our pilot study was to evaluate the safety, efficacy and feasibility of PRP for treatment of androgenic alopecia.

Between August 2013 and November 2013, all patients suffering from androgenic alopecia and on topical minoxidil and finasteride for at least 6 months without much improvement were considered for PRP therapy. Written informed consent was obtained. All included patients were tested by ELISA for HIV, HBS Ag and platelet count. Exclusion criteria were haematological disorders, thyroid dysfunction, malnutrition and other dermatological disorders contributing to hair loss. A 1 cm × 1 cm square area was marked over right parietal area in mid-pupillary line, 10 cm proximal to right eyebrow in each patient. Baseline follicular units were manually counted with the help of trichoscan in this area by dividing into four small quadrants [Figures [Figures11 and and22].

Figure 1

Pre-treatment trichoscan image
Figure 2

Post-treatment trichoscan image

Before each session, the hair pull test was performed three times by the same clinician. All patients were advised to avoid washing hair two days prior to the treatment. A bundle of approximately 50-60 hair was grasped between the thumb, index and middle finger from the base close to the scalp. The hair was firmly tugged away from the scalp, and the extracted hair was counted in every session. To evaluate overall hair growth, hair volume, hair quality and fullness, global pictures were taken in every session from front, vertex, lateral and back view. Read more here: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4134641/)

 

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