by Dr Jeff Donovan, Canadian Hair Loss Foundation
PRP FOR HAIR LOSS
Platelet rich plasma remains an area of active interest for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia (AGA). For more information on this technique, be sure to read a description here. In brief, PRP is a technique whereby a small amount of blood is taken from a patient, and spun down in a machine in order to isolate the platelet rich plasma (PRP). A number of growth factors present in the PRP are known to stimulate hair growth and stimulate activation of dermal papilla cells. A handful of studies to date support a role for PRP in treating AGA.
New research study supports a benefit of PRP
In a new research study, Italian and US researchers designed a study investigating the role of PRP in patients with genetic hair loss. PRP concentrations 3.5 to 4 times above baseline were used in the study. A 1 mm deep Scalproller was used to further induce cutaneous inflammation. Injections were repeated at a 3 month time point and clinical evaluation was performed at the 3 month and 6 month interval. 2 investigators assessed the response of patients via before and after photographs.
42 men and 22 women were enrolled in the study (64 total). The average age of males was 28 and 32 in the female group. None of the patients were allowed to start new therapies other than the PRP.
Results of the study
Overall, results favored the use of PRP for treating AGA. One investigator felt 62/64 patients to have improved and the second investigator felt 64/64 improved. Investigator 1 concluded that 40.6 % to have a clinically important difference and investigator 2 concluded that 54.7 % had a clinically important difference. There was no difference in responses according to gender, age, number of platelets or the degree of hair loss at baseline. Interestingly, a greater degree of improvement was found in those with a more severe hair loss. There were no adverse effects noted such as allergic reactions pain, fever or prolonged redness. Post operative telogen effluvium was not noted.
This is an important study which further supports a role for PRP in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. Like other studies, this study supports the notion that PRP concentrations should be 3-5 times above baseline in order to stimulate improvement. There are numerous PRP machine on the market and numerous distinct techniques. Further research is needed to understand which components and modifications are most important.
1. Schiavone et al. Platelet-Rich Plasma for Androgenetic Alopecia: A Pilot Study. Dermatol Surg; 2014; 40:1010-1019.
2. Modified from Source