The influence of platelet-rich plasma on angiogenesis during the early phase of tendon healing

Dimitrios N. Lyras, Konstantinos Kazakos, Dionysios Verettas, Alekos Polychronidis, Marios Tryfonidis, Sotirios Botaitis, George Agrogiannis, Constantinos Simopoulos, Anna Kokka, Efstratios Patsouris

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Background: The poor vascularity of tendons is a major factor in their limited healing capacity. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) on angiogenesis during tendon healing. Materials and Methods: Forty-eight skeletally mature New Zealand White rabbits were used. The Achilles tendon was transected transversely and 0.5 ml of PRP was injected into the tendon mass on each side of the incision on both limbs. The injection in the control group consisted of saline. Six animals from each group (12 tendons each) were sacrificed after 1, 2, 3, and 4 weeks following treatment. Three sections from each Achilles were stained with hematoxylinosin for microscopic examination. Further three sections were immunostained with a monoclonal antibody against CD31 (Daco Co), followed by image analysis to count new vessel numbers and statistical analysis was performed. Results: There was significantly more angiogenesis in the PRP group compared to the control group during the first two weeks of the healing process, i.e., inflammatory and proliferative phase (p < 0.0001). The orientation of collagen fibers in the PRP group was better organized. The number of the newly formed vessels in the PRP group were significantly reduced at 4 weeks compared to the controls (p < 0.0001) suggesting the healing process was shortened. Conclusion: PRP seems to enhance neovascularization which may accelerate the healing process and promote scar tissue of better histological quality. Clinical Relevance: Although these results need replication and further biomechanical research, PRP may promote tendon healing acceleration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1101-1106
Number of pages6
JournalFoot and Ankle International
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009


  • Growth factors
  • Platelet-rich plasma
  • Rabbits
  • Tendon healing

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    Lyras, D. N., Kazakos, K., Verettas, D., Polychronidis, A., Tryfonidis, M., Botaitis, S., Agrogiannis, G., Simopoulos, C., Kokka, A., & Patsouris, E. (2009). The influence of platelet-rich plasma on angiogenesis during the early phase of tendon healing. Foot and Ankle International, 30(11), 1101-1106.