Response to British Journal of Sports & Exercise Medicine

The British Medical Journal Open Sports & Exercise Medicine recently published an article titled, “Normal platelet function in platelet concentrates requires non-platelet cells: a comparative in vitro evaluation of leukocyte-rich (type 1a) and leukocyte-poor (type 3b) platelet concentrates”.

 

Based on the outcomes of a study designed to evaluate the cellular components of platelet rich plasma (PRP), the authors claimed that leukocyte-rich PRP was superior to leukocyte-poor PRP when supporting the promotion of growth factor release and stimulation of tendon cell proliferation.

 

Leukocytes are white blood cells, a non-platelet component of platelet-rich plasma. There is current debate across the scientific and medical communities as to the role they play in platelet rich plasma treatments.

 

Dr. Marko Bodor, Ryan Dregalla, PhD and Yvette Uribe, BS read the article carefully and with great interest, given the current work they are doing in both clinical studies involving the delivery of PRP treatments and in laboratory research investigating PRP on a cellular level. They found inconsistencies in the authors’ preparation and use of the PRP within the study. The authors of the article did not actually use live PRP, but had frozen the platelets and used their extracts to stimulate growth factor release for the tendon cells.

 

Furthermore, the concentration of platelets in the leukocyte-rich preparation was 7-fold whereas in the leukocyte-poor it was 2-fold. As such, their conclusion regarding the superiority of the leukocyte-rich PRP for enhancing tendon cells growth was invalid. To be fair, the concentrations would need to be equal.

 

Dr. Bodor, Dregalla and Uribe have submitted a letter to the editor of the journal to point out their concerns, available here. With each step forward, we get closer to a future in which many of the degenerative conditions of today will not just be manageable, but curable and covered by insurance.

 

The Napa Medical Research Foundation is committed to the advancement of regenerative medicine. We believe it is essential for the scientific and medical community to work towards the development of less costly, less invasive treatments that utilize the body’s own healing agents to repair and regenerate. As researchers, medical professionals and community members, it is our duty to ensure accurate and timely information about these advances, to promote their safe and ethical use, and to prevent their misuse.

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All the research conducted through the Napa Medical Research Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is fully funded through generous donations received from individuals and family foundations.

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