Producing accurate platelet counts for platelet rich plasma: validation of a hematology analyzer and preparation techniques for counting

J Craniofac Surg. 2005 Sep;16(5):749-56; discussion 757-9. doi: 10.1097/01.scs.0000180007.30115.fa.


Platelet rich plasma (PRP) has been shown to clinically accelerate healing of both soft and hard tissues. As a result, it has gained increasing popularity. However, the clinical effectiveness of each type of PRP preparation method can vary in technique and efficiency, and current methods to evaluate the platelet concentration efficiency of PRP systems have several limitations. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to validate an automated hematology analyzer, the Cell-Dyn 3700, to accurately count platelets in concentration ranges of approximately 2,000,000-4,800,000 platelets/microL. PRP platelets were counted by way of a manual counting method and on the Cell-Dyn 3700, and the statistical evaluation indicated no difference between the groups (P > 0.05). Dilution of the PRP was not required, and accurate platelet counts could be achieved up to platelet concentrations of 4,800,000 platelets/microL. PRPs must be resuspended on a rocker for at least 5 minutes before platelet counts, and the entire PRP sample must be resuspended to allow for equal distribution of platelets before counting. With use of the validated Cell-Dyn 3700, a platelet concentrate system was used to prepare 153 PRPs. The baseline whole blood platelet concentration (328,000 platelets/microL +/- 69,000 platelets/microL) and the average PRP samples (2,645,000 platelets/microL +/- 680,000 platelets/microL) were compared, resulting in an eightfold increase in concentration and an average platelet percent recovery of approximately 76%. Automated hematology analyzers can be used to accurately count platelets in PRP given the system has been validated appropriately and the PRP samples are prepared properly to provide adequate platelet suspension.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticoagulants / chemistry
  • Cattle
  • Centrifugation
  • Edetic Acid / chemistry
  • Equipment Design
  • Hematology / instrumentation
  • Humans
  • Plasma
  • Platelet Count / instrumentation*
  • Platelet Count / methods
  • Platelet Count / standards
  • Platelet Transfusion / instrumentation
  • Platelet Transfusion / methods*
  • Platelet Transfusion / standards


  • Anticoagulants
  • Edetic Acid