Andia, I, Atilano, L and Maffulli, N (2021) Moving toward targeting the right phenotype with the right platelet-rich plasma (PRP) formulation for knee osteoarthritis. Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease, 13. 1- 9. ISSN 1759-720X

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Intra-articular injections of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and other novel blood-derived products developed specifically for osteoarthritis (OA) can provide pain relief and potential benefits in disease progression. Meta-analyses show the clinical superiority of PRP compared with other intra-articular injections, but results are modest and the effect sizes are small. PRP injections in knee OA are performed indiscriminately, but the clinical response varies enormously between patients because of an array of mixed OA phenotypes. Subgroup analyses are scarce; some studies stratify patients according to radiographic severity and found better results in early OA, without consensus for more advanced stages of the condition. Parallel identification of soluble and imaging biomarkers is essential to personalise and leverage PRP therapies. The inflammatory phenotype is most interesting from the PRP perspective because PRPs modulate inflammation by releasing a large pool of chemokines and cytokines, which interact with synovial fibroblasts and macrophages; in addition, they can modulate the innate immune response. No soluble biomarkers have been discovered that have implications for OA research and PRP interventions. Clinical examination of patients based on their inflammatory phenotype and imaging identification of pain sources and structural alterations could help discern who will respond to PRP. Synovial inflammation and bone marrow lesions are sources of pain, and intra-articular injections of PRP combined with subchondral bone injection can enhance clinical outcomes. Further refining ultrasound phenotypes may aid in personalising PRP therapies. Intra-articular delivery combined with injections in altered ligamentous structures, medial and coronal ligaments or premeniscal pes anserinus showed positive clinical outcomes. Although the evidence supporting these approaches are weak, they merit further consideration to refine PRP protocols and target the right OA phenotypes.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC925 Diseases of the musculoskeletal system
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC927 Rheumatism
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Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 19 May 2021 13:47
Last Modified: 19 May 2021 13:47

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