Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the clinical and inflammatory parameters with the addition of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) in primary anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction with bone-patellar tendon-bone allograft.
Methods: We prospectively randomized 100 patients undergoing arthroscopic patellar tendon allograft ACL reconstruction to a group in whom platelet-enriched gel was used (n = 50) and a non-gel group (n = 50). The platelet concentration was 837 x 10(3)/mm(3), and the gel was introduced inside the graft and the tibial tunnel. Demographic data were comparable between groups. The mean follow-up was 24 months for both groups and included a history, clinical evaluation with the International Knee Documentation Committee score, radiographs, and magnetic resonance imaging.
Results: There were no differences in the number of associated injuries. The results did not show any statistically significant differences between the groups for inflammatory parameters (perimeters of the knee and C-reactive protein level), magnetic resonance imaging appearance of the graft, and clinical evaluation scores (visual analog scale, International Knee Documentation Committee, and KT-1000 arthrometer [MEDmetric, San Diego, CA]).
Conclusions: At this time, the therapeutic role of PDGF in ACL reconstruction remains unclear. The use of PDGF, on the graft and inside the tibial tunnel, in patients treated with bone-patellar tendon-bone allografts has no discernable clinical or biomechanical effect at 2 years' follow-up. More clinical studies will be needed to show the efficacy and use of these factors in daily practice in ACL reconstruction.
Level of evidence: Level I, prospective, randomized, double-blind study.