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Platelet-Enriched Plasma and Muscle Strain Injuries: Challenges Imposed by the Burden of Proof

Hamilton, Bruce H MBChB*; Best, Thomas M MD, PhD

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: January 2011 - Volume 21 - Issue 1 - p 31-36
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e318205a658
Thematic Issue

Objective: To review the evidence for the clinical utilization of autologous plasma products in the management of muscle strain injuries.

Method: Systematic review using EMBASE and MEDLINE (up to March 2010).

Results: There is no level 1, 2, and 3 evidence for the use of autologous plasma products in muscle strain injuries. Furthermore, significant methodological limitations impact on the interpretation of the few published studies in this field.

Conclusions: Although basic science and the use of recombinant growth factors in animal models support the concept of applying growth factors to acute muscle injuries, it is unclear if this evidence can be directly translated to reflect outcomes from platelet-enriched plasma. There remain a large number of unanswered questions, including the principle questions regarding safety and efficacy, which require appropriate scientific investigation. It is incumbent on sports physicians wishing to enhance athlete care, together with researchers, to search for these answers.

From the *Sports Medicine Department, ASPETAR, Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar; and †Division of Sports Medicine, OSU Sports Medicine Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

Submitted for publication February 15, 2010; accepted September 28, 2010.

The authors report no financial or conflicts of interest.

Corresponding Author: Bruce H. Hamilton, MBChB, ASPETAR, Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, PO Box 29222, Doha, Qatar (e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.