Review Articles

Platelet-rich plasma in clinical practice

Heidi Siebert
South African Family Practice | Vol 58, No 1 : January/February| a4440 | DOI: | ©
Submitted: 15 March 2016 | Published: 01 January 2016

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Heidi Siebert, Private Practice, Waterkloof, Pretoria, South Africa

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The concept of using a patient’s own blood or components thereof (autologous), to enhance the physiological process of healing has been in place for many years. Autologous platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been used for both soft tissue and bone healing and rejuvenation. PRP has also been used in orthopaedics for bone, tendon and muscle injuries, dentistry for dental implants, dermatology for wound healing, and in pathological conditions such as alopecia aereata. However, more recently, it has been used in the fast-growing field of aesthetic and anti-ageing medicine for skin rejuvenation. PRP seems like a logical, safe, relatively, cheap and easy procedure, but is this the case? Although safety and improved short-term outcomes for orthopaedic indications have been demonstrated in a few reviews, long-term improvement has not been demonstrated. Randomised controlled trials in dermatology and aesthetic indications are sparse, but show promise for alopecia areata and skin rejuvenation.


autologous; indications; platelet-rich plasma; PRP; skin rejuvenation


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