What is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)?
PRP is a platelet concentrate of autologous blood in a sufficient volume of plasma. Unfortunately, even after three decades of using Platelet-Rich Plasma in various medical fields, there is still no universally accepted definition for PRP. Many PRP users think that PRP is given at any concentration compared to baseline as long as an "enrichment" sequence is performed. The following parameters are generally accepted.
- A minimum of 1,000,000 platelets per microliter.
- Healthy platelets
- Sufficient amount of effective PRP
What is effective PRP?
Platelet counts in the blood range from 150,000 to 350,000 per microliter of blood (with an average of 200,000/µl). Based on recorded effective bone and soft tissue healing treatments, it is concluded that at least 1,000,000 platelets per microliter must be counted to obtain effective PRP. Whether a concentration below or above this value achieves optimal results is questioned.
Why do you need healthy platelets?
1,000,000 platelets/µl is achieved by a 4-5 fold concentration of these above baseline. For effective, sustainable PRP treatment, the "health" of these platelets must be as good as possible. Don't forget that platelets contain the growth factors that are locally effective in the tissues.
Why do we centrifuge twice?
To achieve a platelet count of 1'000'000/µl, we need to gently separate RBCs and WBCs from platelet-containing plasma. This is done gently in the first centrifugation cycle. In a second centrifugation, the platelets are concentrated in the plasma. The platelets accumulate at the bottom of the second bag. Thus, the PRP (rich) and the PPP (poor) are generated with this second spin. They determine the concentration of the PRP during collection.