Clinical J Sport Med: Does PRP results in MRI changes in cartilage following injection? Results from 1 year follow-up, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS)

In a recent study, platelet-rich plasma was used in treating early knee osteoarthritis and the results were determined based on positive clinical results and a change in MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) structural outlook. Twenty-two patients between the ages of 30 – 70 years received an MRI prior to the therapy to determine their baseline.  Each patient then underwent a PRP injection. Fifteen of these patients were followed-up at 1 week, and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months, and finally received an MRI at 1 year. Clinical outcomes were great as patients reported significant decrease in pain and improved functional capacity. However, based on the MRI results no changes were noted in at least 73% cases at 1 year. Therefore, more advanced imaging to access cartilage is needed to keep up with the advancements in cell-based therapy. Cartilage software & mapping are promising ways to better evaluate cartilage status. For now, PRP has been shown to be safe and effective for knee osteoarthritis by improving function, however its ability to regenerate cartilage is debatable currently. More powerful treatments like Bone Marrow Concentration (BMC) may provide greater potential to regenerate based on its rich regenerative cells and proteins.

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