The Regenerative Medicine Potential of PRP in Elite Athlete Injuries

Author(s): Alex Pontes De Macedo, José Fabio Santos Duarte Lana, Carolina Masini Pedrozo, Ivan Corrêa Bottene, Jose Renan Moyses De Medeiros, Letícia Queiroz Da Silva

Despite the health benefits of sports and physical activities, sports injuries rank among the major public health problems due to the important social and economic impact on society. A significant proportion of these injuries remain difficult to treat, and many athletes suffer from decreased performance and longstanding pain and discomfort, especially the high-performance athletes. Non-surgical alternatives have been studied, and the use of the Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is one of the most popular solutions due to its chemotactic, proliferative and anabolic responses through the delivery of growth factors. However, there are many unanswered questions concerning the composition of PRP, the individual blood product characteristics, the distinct protocols of production, and the different methods of application, all of which compromise the real evaluation of PRP efficacy. In addition, not much is known about its response in professional athletes and how these differ across sports. This review discusses the current literature regarding the use of PRP in the treatment of sports-related injuries in athletes competing at the highest levels. On the basis of the current evidence, few studies attempt to standardize or report the use of PRP in a high-performance athlete, and only 38% of the studies use a control group and discuss platelet concentration. Besides, only 1 study performed growth factor evaluation. To our knowledge, this is the first review introducing the use of PRP in elite athletes, and as in other areas, it is clear that PRP demands regulations and further studies regarding its function and application.

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