How Does Platelet-Rich Plasma Compare Clinically to Other Therapies in the Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, São Paulo, SP, Brazil. Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

The American journal of sports medicine. 2022;:3635465211062243
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BACKGROUND There has been an increase in interest in the use of biological therapies in orthopaedic conditions such as knee osteoarthritis. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is one of these therapies, but it still lacks consistent results. PURPOSE To evaluate the effects (benefits and harms) of PRP intra-articular injection compared with other nonsurgical methods for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. STUDY DESIGN Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials; Level of evidence, 2. METHODS Three electronic databases were searched to identify relevant studies published before January 2021. The primary outcomes were pain, function, and failure of treatment. Risks of bias of all trials were assessed using a Cochrane risk of bias tool. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation System was used to assess the quality of evidence of included studies. RESULTS A total of 40 studies with 3035 participants were included. Analysis of this review focused on comparing PRP with hyaluronic acid, corticosteroid, and saline, as we believe they are the most relevant comparisons with the most studies available. At 6-month follow-up, PRP was as effective as and in some studies more effective than other therapies regarding pain, function, and stiffness. However, current evidence is of low or very low quality and is based on trials with high risk of bias and great heterogeneity among them. No significant difference among treatments was found concerning major adverse events and treatment failure. CONCLUSION Although studies suggest that PRP may be more effective than or at least as effective as other modalities of nonsurgical treatment for knee osteoarthritis in terms of pain, function, and adverse events, serious limitations and methodological flaws are considerable in the current literature. Therefore, the authors are not able to make recommendations for clinical practice regarding PRP for knee osteoarthritis.
Study details
Study Design : Systematic Review
Language : eng
Credits : Bibliographic data from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine