Systematic review of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) preparation and composition for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2018 Oct;17(5):666-671. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12679. Epub 2018 May 22.


Background: Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections have gained popularity in dermatology practice as a treatment for hair loss. As an autologous blood product, PRP is categorized as a minimally manipulated tissue by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and thus evades extensive regulation. As a result, there is a lack of standardization of its preparation and final composition.

Objective: This study aims to provide a systematic review of the various PRP preparation protocols and PRP compositions utilized in clinical trials for the treatment of hair loss.

Methods & materials: A review of the literature was performed using PubMed and Ovid/Medline in November 2017 using the search terms "Platelet-Rich Plasma" and ("Alopecia" or "Hair Loss"), including all publication dates. Human clinical trials in the English language were included.

Results: Nineteen studies (in 15 articles) met the inclusion criteria for analysis. Only 21% of these studies reported all PRP preparation factors analyzed, and only 32% of the protocols reported the platelet count for both the initial whole blood and final PRP product.

Conclusion: The current reporting of PRP preparation methodology and final composition is inconsistent and insufficient to enable comparison between studies and determination of efficacy for particular treatment applications.

Keywords: PRP; androgenetic alopecia; hair loss; male-patterned hair loss; platelet-rich plasma.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia / therapy*
  • Blood Specimen Collection / standards
  • Clinical Protocols / standards*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Platelet Count
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Treatment Outcome