Background: Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an autologous concentration of human platelets contained in a small volume of plasma with haemostatic and tissue repairing effects. Being enriched by various growth factors, PRP has become the focus of attention in numerous fields of medicine. Androgenic alopecia (AGA) is a common chronic hair loss disorder, characterised by progressive hair loss. Despite the therapeutic options available, there is low patient compliance and satisfaction rate. The topical and often systemic adverse effects of therapy has lead to the search of new treatment options for AGA. Recently, PRP has received growing attention as a potential therapeutic tool for hair loss.
Aim: To compare the efficacy of placebo versus PRP injections in the treatment of male AGA.
Patients and methods: Fifty male patients with AGA (Grade III to VI) were enrolled in the study. PRP was prepared using the double-spin method and injected in the androgen-related areas of scalp on the left side. Normal saline was injected on the right side in a similar fashion. Treatment sessions were performed with an interval of 21 days, and six sittings were completed for every patient.
Results: Hair loss reduced with evidence of new hair growth. Digital image analysis showed an overall improvement in hair density and quality as lanugo-like hair became thicker, normal hair. An improvement in hair density, quality and thickness on trichoscopy was noted.
Conclusion: Our data suggest that PRP injections have therapeutic effect on male pattern hair loss with no major side effects and high patient satisfaction overall.
Keywords: Androgenic alopecia; growth factors; platelet-rich plasma.