Introduction and objective: Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an autologous preparation of platelets in concentrated plasma. The platelet is a natural source of different growth factors and cytokines. These growth factors act on stem cells in the bulge area of the follicles and stimulate the development of new follicles, and promote neovascularization. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy and safety of PRP injections in androgenetic alopecia (AGA) in men.
Patients and methods: Fifteen male patients (mean age: 39 ± 9.7 years) with AGA grades III-VI were enrolled in the study. Five injections of 2-4 ml PRP (Regenlab PRP Kit-RegenACR®, Le Mont-sur-Lausanne Switzerland) by single spin process were administered every 2 weeks. Standard photographs, trichogram, and measurement of hair density and diameter in an area marked with a tattoo (with digital photographic hair analyzer) were done at baseline and 3 months after the last injection. In addition, patients completed a patient satisfaction questionnaire at each visit on a -2 to +2 score (-2: much worse, -1: slightly worse, 0: without change, +1: slightly better, +2: much better).
Results: Thirteen patients completed the study. The number of hairs increased slightly from 149.62 ± 49.56 to 168.46 ± 43.703/cm2, however, this increase was not statistically significant (P = 0.24). On the other hand, the thickness of hairs decreased from 0.051 ± 0.105 to 0.045 ± 0.011 mm, which was also not significant (P = 0.37). There was a significant decrease in anagen hairs and increase in telogen hairs, and anagen/telogen ratio decreased significantly from 6.38 ± 4.57 to 2.67 ± 1.87 (P = 0.003).
Conclusion: Our study could not show any benefit from PRP injections in the treatment of male AGA. There is a strong need for well-designed, randomized controlled trials with large sample size, proper control group, standard treatment protocols (concerning the amount, number and interval of PRP injections, method of preparation and activation, etc.), and long follow-up periods to evaluate the safety and efficacy of PRP in the treatment of male AGA.
Keywords: Androgenetic alopecia; male pattern; platelet-rich plasma.