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Clinical Trial Assesses Effectiveness of Platelet-Rich Plasma for Knee Osteoarthritis

By May 15, 2011

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Researchers from Rush University Medical Center are studying the effectiveness of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to relieve knee pain in patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis. PRP contains growth factors that promote cell proliferation.

There have not been many controlled clinical trials of PRP for osteoarthritis -- so far results have been inconsistent, yet promising. In a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial that is planned for 100 study participants, the patients will be randomly assigned PRP or hyaluronic acid. PRP is prepared from 10 mm. of the patient's own blood. The blood is spun in a centrifuge to separate platelets from red and white cells. Using ultrasound guided placement, platelets are injected into the knee. Three injections will be given over three weeks and patients will be monitored for two years. Stay tuned for results.

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