Treatment of male pattern alopecia with platelet-rich plasma: A double-blind controlled study with analysis of platelet number and growth factor levels

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019 Mar;80(3):694-700. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2018.09.033. Epub 2018 Oct 2.

Abstract

Background: Promising results with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in androgenetic alopecia that could be associated with platelet number and growth factor levels were described.

Objective: Analyze the platelet countand growth factor levels in PRP and their correlation with hair growth parameters evaluated by using the TrichoScan (Tricholog GmbH, Freiburg, Germany).

Methods: A total of 26 patients were randomized to receive 4 subcutaneous injections of PRP or saline. Hair growth, hair density, and percentage of anagen hairs were evaluated by using the TrichoScan method before injection, 15 days after the last injection, and again 3 months after the last injection. Growth factors (platelet-derived growth factor, epidermal growth factor, and vascular endothelial growth factor) were measured by the Luminex method (Millipore, Bedford, MA).

Results: We demonstrated a significant increase in hair count (P = .0016), hair density (P = .012) and percentage of anagen hairs (P = .007) in the PRP group versus in the control group, without correlation with platelet counts or quantification of the growth factors in PRP.

Limitations: Other growth factors that could be related to response to PRP were not evaluated.

Conclusion: Our data favor the use of PRP as a therapeutic alternative in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. The lack of association between platelet count, platelet-derived growth factor, epidermal growth factor, and vascular endothelial growth factor levels and clinical improvement suggest that other mechanisms could be involved in this response.

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

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alopecia / therapy*
  • Dermoscopy
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / analysis
  • Hair / diagnostic imaging
  • Hair / growth & development*
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / analysis*
  • Male
  • Platelet Count*
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / analysis
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma / chemistry*
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma / cytology*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / analysis
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Epidermal Growth Factor