No effects of PRP on ultrasonographic tendon structure and neovascularisation in chronic midportion Achilles tendinopathy

Robert-Jan de Vos, Adam Weir, JL Tol, Jan Verhaar, HH Weinans, Hans Schie

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Objective To assess whether a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection leads to an enhanced tendon structure and neovascularisation, measured with ultrasonographic techniques, in chronic midportion Achilles tendinopathy. Design Double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Setting Sports medical department of The Hague medical centre. Patients 54 patients with chronic midportion Achilles tendinopathy were included. Interventions Patients were randomised to eccentric exercise therapy with either a PRP injection (PRP group) or a saline injection (placebo group). Main outcome measurements Tendon structure was evaluated by ultrasonographic tissue characterisation, a novel technique which quantifies tendon structure into four echo-types: echo-types I+II represent organised tendon bundles, whereas echo-types III+IV represent a disorganised tendon structure. Colour Doppler ultrasonography was used to measure the degree of neovascularisation. Follow-up was at 6, 12 and 24 weeks. Results A significant improvement in echo-types I+II was found after 24 weeks within both the PRP group (n=27) and the placebo group (n=27), but there was no signifi cant between-group difference (95% Cl - 1.6 to 7.8, p=0.169). After 6 weeks, the neovascularisation score increased within the PRP group (p=0.001) and the placebo group (p=0.002), but there was no signifi cant between-group difference in change in neovascularisation score at any point in time. Conclusion Injecting PRP for the treatment of chronic midportion Achilles tendinopathy does not contribute to an increased tendon structure or alter the degree of neovascularisation, compared with placebo.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)387-392
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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