Knee osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that may develop due ageing, obesity, strain, congenital abnormal joints, joint deformity or trauma. It is caused by many factors, such as degradation of articular cartilage injury, joint edge and subchondral bone hyperplasia of reactivity. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an autologous blood sample that contains highly concentrated platelets and multiple cell growth factors. PRP promotes synovial cell proliferation and differentiation and may recover cartilage morphology. In the present study, the clinical efficacy of PRP was investigated in patients with knee osteoarthritis aged between 18 and 30 years in a phase-III clinical study. Following an 8-week baseline, patients with knee osteoarthritis were randomized into once-weekly, double-blind treatment with PRP (2-14 ml) or placebo groups. The results indicated that patients with osteoarthritis treated with PRP had modulated plasma concentrations of inflammatory factors and pro-angiogenic factors compared with the placebo group. Treatment responses were assessed by median percent reduction in inflammatory and pro-angiogenic factors and these improved with PRP treatment compared with the placebo. Clinical data indicated that PRP alleviated knee osteoarthritis and reduced humoral and cellular immune responses that led to beneficial effects on histological parameters. Inflammation was significantly alleviated in patients receiving PRP compared with the placebo group. The most common treatment-emergent adverse events in the presence of PRP were hypertension and proteinuria. In conclusion, treatment with PRP for patients with knee osteoarthritis presented beneficial effects in alleviating joint inflammation, cartilage destruction and bone damage, and repairing joint tissue. These results suggested that PRP may be a potential therapeutic agent for knee osteoarthritis.
Keywords: angiogenesis; inflammation; knee osteoarthritis; platelet-rich plasma.