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Evaluating Platelet-Rich Therapy for Facial Aesthetics and Alopecia

A Critical Review of the Literature

Motosko, Catherine C., B.S.; Khouri, Kimberly S., B.S.; Poudrier, Grace, B.A.; Sinno, Sammy, M.D.; Hazen, Alexes, M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: May 2018 - Volume 141 - Issue 5 - p 1115–1123
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000004279
Cosmetic: Original Articles
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Background: Despite the growing popularity of platelet-rich plasma, existing evidence supporting its efficacy remains controversial due to the lack of large-scale studies and standardized protocols for preparation and application. This article reviews its use in facial rejuvenation, fat grafting, acne scarring, and androgenic alopecia. Emphasis is placed on comparing methods of platelet-rich plasma preparation and application across studies.

Methods: A systematic review was performed for articles published between 2006 and 2015. All clinical studies and case reports that addressed platelet-rich plasma alone and/or in combination with fat grafting for facial rejuvenation, acne scarring, or androgenic alopecia were included.

Results: Of the 22 articles included in the analysis, seven studies used platelet-rich plasma alone for facial rejuvenation, seven in combination with fat grafting, two for treatment of acne scarring, and six for treatment of androgenic alopecia. Individual study procedures, means of evaluation, and significant results are summarized. Although the majority of studies in this review report positive results, significant variation exists in preparation protocols and in the number and frequency of clinical treatments.

Conclusions: The majority of studies report positive results for all indications evaluated in this review, but the procedure is limited by the lack of a standardized method for preparation and application of platelet-rich plasma. The extent to which significant variability in platelet-rich plasma preparation and/or application methods may affect clinical outcomes is not completely clear. In the interim, we present a consolidation of platelet-rich plasma treatment techniques and outcomes currently in use to help guide physicians in their clinical practice.

New York, N.Y.

From the Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery, New York University Langone Medical Center.

Received for publication May 26, 2017; accepted November 1, 2017.

Disclosure: The authors have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

A “Hot Topic Video” by Editor-in-Chief Rod J. Rohrich, M.D., accompanies this article. Go to and click on “Plastic Surgery Hot Topics” in the “Digital Media” tab to watch. On the iPad, tap on the Hot Topics icon.

Alexes Hazen, M.D., Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery, New York University Langone Medical Center, 550 1st Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10016,

©2018American Society of Plastic Surgeons