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Platelet-Rich Plasma: A Review of Biology and Applications in Plastic Surgery

Eppley, Barry L. M.D., D.M.D.; Pietrzak, William S. Ph.D.; Blanton, Matthew M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: November 2006 - Volume 118 - Issue 6 - p 147e-159e
doi: 10.1097/

Learning Objectives: After studying this article, the reader should be able to: 1. Define the role of platelets in hemostasis and wound healing. 2. Describe the technologies for platelet concentration and application. 3. Characterize the platelet concentration and growth factor components of platelet-rich plasma. 4. List the potential applications of platelet-rich plasma in plastic surgery and how it may be applied intraoperatively. 5. Discuss the limitations of the use of platelet-rich plasma and its potential complications.

Summary: Healing of hard and soft tissue is mediated by a complex array of intracellular and extracellular events that are regulated by signaling proteins, a process that is, at present, incompletely understood. What is certain, however, is that platelets play a prominent if not deciding role. Controlled animal studies of soft and hard tissues have suggested that the application of autogenous platelet-rich plasma can enhance wound healing. The clinical use of platelet-rich plasma for a wide variety of applications has been reported; however, many reports are anecdotal and few include controls to definitively determine the role of platelet-rich plasma. The authors describe platelet biology and its role in wound healing; the preparation, characterization, and use of platelet-rich plasma; and those applications in plastic surgery for which it may be useful.

Indianapolis and Warsaw, Ind.; and Chicago, Ill.

From the Division of Plastic Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine; Biomet, Inc.; and Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Received for publication May 31, 2005; accepted January 5, 2006.

Barry L. Eppley, M.D., D.M.D., Division of Plastic Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, 702 Barnhill Drive, Suite 3540, Indianapolis, Ind. 46202,

©2006American Society of Plastic Surgeons