Platelet-rich plasma in arthroscopic rotator cuff repair: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Arthroscopy. 2015 Jan;31(1):125-35. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2014.08.008. Epub 2014 Sep 30.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to appraise the retear rate and clinical outcomes of platelet-rich plasma use in patients undergoing arthroscopic full-thickness rotator cuff repair.

Methods: We searched the Cochrane Library, PubMed, and EMBASE databases for randomized controlled trials comparing the outcomes of arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery with or without the use of platelet-rich plasma. Methodological quality was assessed by the Detsky quality scale. When there was no high heterogeneity, we used a fixed-effects model. Dichotomous variables were presented as risk ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs), and continuous data were measured as mean differences with 95% CIs. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) system was used to assess the quality of evidence for each individual outcome.

Results: Eight randomized controlled trials were included, with the sample size ranging from 28 to 88. Overall methodological quality was high. Fixed-effects analysis showed that differences were not significant between the 2 groups in retear rate (RR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.70 to 1.25; P = .66), Constant score (mean difference, 1.12; 95% CI, -1.38 to 3.61; P = .38), and University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) score (mean difference, -0.68; 95% CI, -2.00 to 0.65; P = .32). The strength of GRADE evidence was categorized respectively as low for retear, moderate for Constant score, and low for UCLA shoulder score.

Conclusions: Our meta-analysis does not support the use of platelet-rich plasma in the arthroscopic repair of full-thickness rotator cuff tears over repairs without platelet-rich plasma because of similar retear rates and clinical outcomes.

Level of evidence: Level II, meta-analysis of Level I and II randomized controlled trials.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthroscopy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Recurrence
  • Rotator Cuff / surgery*
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries
  • Rupture / surgery
  • Wound Healing