Comparison of magnetic resonance imaging findings in anterior cruciate ligament grafts with and without autologous platelet-derived growth factors

Arthroscopy. 2010 Jan;26(1):50-7. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2009.06.030.


Purpose: To determine whether the use of platelet-rich plasma gel (PRPG) affects magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) graft during the first year after reconstruction.

Methods: A prospective single-blinded study of 50 ACL reconstructions in 50 patients was performed. In group A (study group) PRPG was added to the graft with a standardized technique, and in group B (control group) no PRPG was added. An MRI study was performed postoperatively between 3 and 9 months in group A and between 3 and 12 months in group B. The imaging analysis was performed in a blind protocol by the same radiologist.

Results: The mean heterogeneity score value at the time of MRI, assigned by the radiologist, was 1.14 in group A and 3.25 in group B. Both groups were comparable in terms of sex and age (P < .05). The mean time to obtain a completely homogeneous intra-articular segment in group A (PRPG added) was 177 days after surgery, and it was 369 days in group B. Using the quadratic predictive model, these findings show that group A (PRPG added) needed only 48% of the time group B required to achieve the same MRI image (P < .001).

Conclusions: ACL reconstruction with the use of PRPG achieves complete homogeneous grafts assessed by MRI, in 179 days compared with 369 days for ACL reconstruction without PRPG. This represents a time shortening of 48% with respect to ACL reconstruction without PRPG.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / pathology*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
  • Arthroscopy*
  • Athletic Injuries / pathology*
  • Athletic Injuries / surgery*
  • Bone Transplantation*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Drug Implants
  • Female
  • Gelatin Sponge, Absorbable
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Patellar Ligament / transplantation*
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / administration & dosage
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / pharmacology
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Rupture / pathology
  • Rupture / surgery
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Tendons / transplantation*
  • Transplantation, Autologous
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*
  • Young Adult


  • Drug Implants
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor