Background: Varying concentrations of blood components in platelet-rich plasma preparations may contribute to the variable results seen in recently published clinical studies. The purposes of this investigation were (1) to quantify the level of platelets, growth factors, red blood cells, and white blood cells in so-called one-step (clinically used commercial devices) and two-step separation systems and (2) to determine the influence of three separate blood draws on the resulting components of platelet-rich plasma.
Methods: Three different platelet-rich plasma (PRP) separation methods (on blood samples from eight subjects with a mean age [and standard deviation] of 31.6 ± 10.9 years) were used: two single-spin processes (PRPLP and PRPHP) and a double-spin process (PRPDS) were evaluated for concentrations of platelets, red and white blood cells, and growth factors. Additionally, the effect of three repetitive blood draws on platelet-rich plasma components was evaluated.
Results: The content and concentrations of platelets, white blood cells, and growth factors for each method of separation differed significantly. All separation techniques resulted in a significant increase in platelet concentration compared with native blood. Platelet and white blood-cell concentrations of the PRPHP procedure were significantly higher than platelet and white blood-cell concentrations produced by the so-called single-step PRPLP and the so-called two-step PRPDS procedures, although significant differences between PRPLP and PRPDS were not observed. Comparing the results of the three blood draws with regard to the reliability of platelet number and cell counts, wide variations of intra-individual numbers were observed.
Conclusions: Single-step procedures are capable of producing sufficient amounts of platelets for clinical usage. Within the evaluated procedures, platelet numbers and numbers of white blood cells differ significantly. The intra-individual results of platelet-rich plasma separations showed wide variations in platelet and cell numbers as well as levels of growth factors regardless of separation method.