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      The temporal effect of platelet-rich plasma on pain and physical function in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials


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          Quite a few randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigating the efficacy of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) for treatment of knee osteoarthritis (OA) have been recently published. Therefore, an updated systematic review was performed to evaluate the temporal effect of PRP on knee pain and physical function.


          Pubmed, Embase, Cochrane library, and Scopus were searched for human RCTs comparing the efficacy and/or safety of PRP infiltration with other intra-articular injections. A descriptive summary and quality assessment were performed for all the studies finally included for analysis. For studies reporting outcomes concerning Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC) or adverse events, a random-effects model was used for data synthesis.


          Fourteen RCTs comprising 1423 participants were included. The control included saline placebo, HA, ozone, and corticosteroids. The follow-up ranged from 12 weeks to 12 months. Risk of bias assessment showed that 4 studies were considered as moderate risk of bias and 10 as high risk of bias. Compared with control, PRP injections significantly reduced WOMAC pain subscores at 3, 6, and 12 months follow-up ( p = 0.02, 0.004, <0.001, respectively); PRP significantly improved WOMAC physical function subscores at 3, 6, and 12 months ( p = 0.002, 0.01, <0.001, respectively); PRP also significantly improved total WOMAC scores at 3, 6 and 12 months (all p < 0.001); nonetheless, PRP did not significantly increased the risk of post-injection adverse events (RR, 1.40 [95% CI, 0.80 to 2.45], I 2  = 59%, p = 0.24).


          Intra-articular PRP injections probably are more efficacious in the treatment of knee OA in terms of pain relief and self-reported function improvement at 3, 6 and 12 months follow-up, compared with other injections, including saline placebo, HA, ozone, and corticosteroids.

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          PROSPERO CRD42016045410. Registered 8 August 2016.

          Electronic supplementary material

          The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13018-017-0521-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references38

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          The Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC): a review of its utility and measurement properties.

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            Efficacy of Intra-articular Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections in Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review.

            To determine (1) whether platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection significantly improves validated patient-reported outcomes in patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (OA) at 6 and 12 months postinjection, (2) differences in outcomes between PRP and corticosteroid injections or viscosupplementation or placebo injections at 6 and 12 months postinjection, and (3) similarities and differences in outcomes based on the PRP formulations used in the analyzed studies.
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              Comparison between hyaluronic acid and platelet-rich plasma, intra-articular infiltration in the treatment of gonarthrosis.

              Arthrosis is particularly prevalent in the knee. Infiltration treatment for gonarthrosis is among the most widely used techniques in orthopaedic practice. To compare the clinical response of hyaluronic acid (HA) and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment in 2 groups of patients affected by gonarthrosis. Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 1. A total of 120 patients affected by clinically and radiographically documented gonarthrosis were included in this study. The gonarthrosis was graded using the Kellgren-Lawrence radiographic classification scale. The 120 patients were randomized into 2 study groups in a 1:1 ratio: 60 patients received 4 intra-articular injections of PRP (specifically, autologous conditioned plasma [ACP], 5.5 mL), and 60 patients received 4 intra-articular injections of HA (20 mg/2 mL). An unblinded physician performed infiltration once a week for 4 weeks into the knee affected by clinically relevant gonarthrosis (in both groups). All patients were evaluated with the Western Ontario and McMaster (WOMAC) score before the infiltration and at 4, 12, and 24 weeks after the first injection. Treatment with a local injection of ACP had a significant effect shortly after the final infiltration and a continuously improving sustained effect up to 24 weeks (WOMAC score, 65.1 and 36.5 in the HA and ACP groups, respectively; P < .001), where the clinical outcomes were better compared with the results with HA. In the HA group, the worst results were obtained for grade III gonarthrosis, whereas the clinical results obtained in the ACP group did not show any statistically significant difference in terms of the grade of gonarthrosis. The mean WOMAC scores for grade III gonarthrosis were 74.85 in the HA group and 41.20 in the ACP group (P < .001). Treatment with ACP showed a significantly better clinical outcome than did treatment with HA, with sustained lower WOMAC scores. Treatment with HA did not seem to be effective in the patients with grade III gonarthrosis.

                Author and article information

                +86 21 64369181 , xuetaoxie@163.com
                J Orthop Surg Res
                J Orthop Surg Res
                Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research
                BioMed Central (London )
                23 January 2017
                23 January 2017
                : 12
                : 16
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1798 5117, GRID grid.412528.8, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, , Shanghai Sixth People’s Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, ; 600 Yishan Road, Shanghai, 200233 China
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0368 8293, GRID grid.16821.3c, Section of Clinical Epidemiology, , Institute of Orthopaedic Traumatology affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University, ; 600 Yishan Road, Shanghai, 200233 China
                © The Author(s). 2017

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                : 18 November 2016
                : 3 January 2017
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001809, National Natural Science Foundation of China;
                Award ID: 81401799
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: Shanghai Youth Science and Technology Start-up Grants
                Award ID: 14YF1412100
                Award Recipient :
                Research Article
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2017

                platelet-rich plasma,hyaluronic acid,knee,osteoarthritis,systematic review
                platelet-rich plasma, hyaluronic acid, knee, osteoarthritis, systematic review


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