PRP — comparison of 3 preparation systems
Platelet-rich plasma (otherwise known as PRP) continues to be investigated as a treatment option for various types of hair loss. It makes intuitive sense that growth factors found in PRP would be beneficial for hair growth but results from PRP studies with respect to hair loss continue to be highly variable and it is unclear why this is the case. One possible reason is that administration regimens differ from study to study. Another possible reason is that different systems concentrate platelets to different degrees.
PRP concentration study
One small study published in the Hair Transplant Forum International in 2018 by Rose et al looked at four different systems: the Selphyl ® system, the Eclipse PRP ® system, the Arthrex ACP ® Double Syringe system, as well as generic yellow top blood collection tubes.
What did the results show?
The investigators looked at platelet counts in whole blood and platelet counts after being processed by the PRP systems. On average, the Selphyl system concentrated platelets 1.16 times, the Eclipse system concentrated platelets 3.23 times, the Arthrex system concentrated platelets 6.34 times, and the generic blood collection tubes concentrated platelets 1.67 times.
This study was relatively small but suggests that different systems concentrate platelets to different degrees. This could explain some of the differences in results from different studies. It is interesting that one of the systems didn’t seem much better than generic collection tubes. The study does not answer the question of whether or not there is a “sweet spot” of platelet concentration with respect to hair growth. Does the concentrate have to be as high as 6X to get benefit?
Dr. Nakatsui continues to analyse all the available information and will update the blog if he decides to reintroduce PRP treatments for hair loss. Based on this small study, he is pretty sure which system he will likely avoid but does not yet know which system he would choose.