OBJECTIVES Platelet products have been proposed as adjuvant therapy for wound healing. We undertook this study to determine the healing effect of topically applied frozen autologous platelets (FAP) on chronic venous ulcers, compared with effect of placebo, and whether use of topical FAP modifies local expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), keratinocyte growth factor (KGF), interleukin 8 (IL-8), and
tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) in wound fluid. METHODS This randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial was carried out in institutional practice, with ambulatory patients with proved chronic venous leg ulcers. In all patients, whole venous blood was drawn for preparation of FAP. FAP or normal saline solution was applied three times per week for up to 12 weeks, together with hydrocolloids and standardized compression bandages. Leg ulcer surface was assessed with numerical pictures. IL-8, VEGF, KGF, and TIMP-1 levels were determined (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) in wound fluid after each 4 weeks of treatment. RESULTS Fifteen patients were randomized into two groups with comparable leg ulcer characteristics. Mean percent reduction in ulcer area was 26. 2% in the FAP group versus 15. 2% in the placebo group (P =. 94). One ulcer in each group was completely healed at study end. Levels of TIMP-1 increased significantly during FAP treatment. IL-8 concentration was significantly lower in wound fluid of healing ulcers than in the fluid of nonhealing ulcers, in both FAP and placebo groups. Growth factor levels were not modified with FAP treatment. CONCLUSION Topical autologous platelets have no significant adjuvant effect on healing of chronic venous leg ulcers and increased wound fluid TIMP-1 concentration. Ulcer healing is associated with a decrease in wound fluid IL-8.