Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been employed to treat sports injuries to possibly accelerate healing and regeneration. This method offers some potential, especially for athletes. Growth factors are generally prohibited by the World Anti Doping Agency with exception to PRP which may induce adverse effects. The aim of this study was to evaluate any systemic increase of growth factors such as Insulin Like Growth Factor-1, Endothelial Growth Factors, Platelet-Derived Growth Factors, Fibroblast Growth Factors, Vascular-Endothelial Growth Factor and Transforming Growth Factors after local intramuscular administration of PRP in young, healthy male subjects keeping in mind adverse treatment effects. Enriched plasma from centrifuged blood samples was injected into the gluteus muscle. Venous blood was collected and serum prepared before as well as 0.5, 3 and 24 hours after PRP administration. Growth factors were analyzed using ELISA test kits. No significant systemic increase of growth factor levels was found after PRP injection except TGF-β2. For that reason the PRP method may be applied for muscle injury treatment in elite athletes although further studies are necessary to clarify the response to the unspecific increased TGF-β2 blood levels, which could increase the risk for local fibrosis. Key pointsMuscle injuryAutologous conditioned plasmaSystemic circulating growth factorsDoping.
Keywords: Autologous Conditioned Plasma; blood levels of growth factors; doping; platelet-rich plasma..