Focus of the Report: This report focuses on the efficacy and safety of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) for treatment of venous leg ulcers (VLUs).

Technology Description: PRP is an autologous blood preparation with a higher-than-usual concentration of platelets, platelet-derived growth factors, and other cytokines. Protocols for PRP preparation vary considerably but usually entail centrifugation of whole blood obtained from the patient to separate platelets from other blood components. PRP in liquid form can be applied to the VLU surface or injected into and around VLUs. In addition, the platelets can be activated to form a gel (platelet gel [PG]) that is applied onto VLUs. Treatment is typically delivered in an outpatient wound management facility.

Controversy: Some investigators have expressed uncertainty about the efficacy of PRP for wound healing due to an insufficient number of studies, variations in methods for PRP preparation, and potential mismatches between the array of growth factors released by platelets and the differing arrays of growth factors that would promote optimal healing in diverse tissues and types of wounds.

Key Questions:

  • Does platelet rich plasma (PRP) accelerate healing of venous leg ulcers (VLUs) when used as an adjunct to standard wound care (SWC)?

  • How does PRP as an adjunct to SWC compare relative to SWC alone?

  • Is PRP treatment associated with any safety issues in patients who have VLUs?

  • Have definitive patient selection criteria been established for PRP treatment of VLUs?

If you have a Hayes login, click here to view the full report on the Knowledge Center.