Background: Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is characterized by miniaturization of the hair follicles gradually causing conversion of terminal hairs into vellus hairs, leading to progressive reduction of the density of hair on the scalp. Approved therapeutic options are limited and show side effects.
Objectives: To evaluate injections of stromal vascular fraction (SVF), which is rich in adipose-derived stromal cells (ASCs) in combination with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in the upper scalp as a new autologous treatment option for AGA.
Methods: Ten male patients (age range, 25-72 years), suffering from AGA at stage II to III according to the Norwood-Hamilton scale, have been treated with a single injection of autologous PRS (ACPSVF: combination of PRP and SVF) in the upper scalp. Preinjection and 6 and 12 weeks postinjection changes in hair density were assessed using ultra high-resolution photography (Fotofinder).
Results: Hair density was significantly increased after 6 weeks and 12 weeks postinjection (P = 0.013 and P < 0.001). In hair-to-hair matching analyses, new hair grew from active follicles. Furhtermore nonfunctioning hair follicles filled with hyperkeartotic plugs, up to today assumed incapable of forming new hair, proved to grow new hair. No side effects were noted after treatment.
Conclusions: A single treatment of platelet-rich stroma injected in the scalp of patients with AGA significantly increased hair density within 6 to 12 weeks. Further research is required to determine the optimal treatment regimen. Preferred options to our opinion include the repetition of PRS or additional treatments with PRP.