Intra-articular injection of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been established as a suitable treatment for knee osteoarthritis. Here, we present a double-blind randomized controlled clinical trial, conducted in a public Hospital of the Spanish National Health Care System, to evaluate the efficacy of injecting autologous PRP versus hyaluronic acid (HA) in knee osteoarthritis. PRP was manufactured in Malaga's Regional Blood Center (Spain). Patients that met the eligibility criteria were randomized into a PRP group or a HA group. Pain and functional improvements were assessed pre- and post-treatment (three and six months follow-up) using the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS); the Knee and Osteoarthritis Outcome System (KOOS) scale and the European Quality of Life scale (EUROQOL). Both groups presented pain reduction at six months. The VAS scores for the PRP group improved by at least 50% from their initial value, particularly at three months following the final infiltration, with results resembling those of the HA group at six months. PRP was more effective in patients with lower osteoarthritis grades. Both treatments improved pain in knee osteoarthritis patients without statistically significant differences between them. However, PRP injection was proved to improve pain three months after the final infiltration and to be more effective in lower osteoarthritis grades.
Keywords: clinical trial; hyaluronic acid; knee osteoarthritis; platelet-rich plasma.