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Considerations on the Use of Platelet-Rich Plasma, Specifically for Burn Treatment

Marck, Rose E. MD*; Middelkoop, Esther PhD†‡; Breederveld, Roelf S. MD, PhD

Journal of Burn Care & Research: May/June 2014 - Volume 35 - Issue 3 - p 219–227
doi: 10.1097/BCR.0b013e31829b334e
Original Articles

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a fraction of blood plasma with a platelet concentration above baseline. After activation of the platelets, growth factors are released, which are involved in wound-healing processes. Application of a multitude of growth factors seems to boost the healing process. In this review the authors provide a comprehensive overview of the many different aspects of PRP; this is followed by a short outline of the evidence for a wide range of applications and finally narrowing down to a more in-depth analysis of the literature on the potential use of PRP in burn treatment. The authors performed an extensive search on PRP and the different biological, as well as practical aspects for the different applications. Furthermore, we performed a systematic search on PRP in the treatment of burn wounds. A high variety exists in PRP products, procedures, and content. This makes interpretation and comparison of the evidence difficult. PRP has been reported to have beneficial effects on wound healing in different fields of surgery and in the treatment of acute, chronic, and diabetic wounds. Literature on the use of PRP in burns is scarce. Separate growth factors have shown beneficial results in the treatment of burns. Furthermore, an animal study and several case reports showed improved burn wound-healing time after the application of PRP. A deep dermal burn could benefit from PRP through its hemostatic antimicrobial abilities and the positive effects seen in wound healing. However, burn patients have an altered physiological state and it is unknown how this may affect platelet function and quality. Furthermore, the effect of PRP on scarring has not been evaluated properly. Future research is needed to elucidate the role of PRP in the treatment of burns.

From the *Burn Center, Red Cross Hospital, Beverwijk, The Netherlands; Association of Dutch Burn Centres, Beverwijk, The Netherlands; Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Hand Surgery, Research Institute MOVE, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; and §Surgery Department, LUMC University Leiden, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Address correspondence to Rose E. Marck, MD, Burn Center, Red Cross Hospital, Vondellaan 13, 1942 LE, Beverwijk, The Netherlands.

© 2014 The American Burn Association