Platelet concentrate vs. saline in a rat patellar tendon healing model

Jeffrey T Spang, Thomas Tischer, Gian M Salzmann, Tobias Winkler, Rainer Burgkart, Gabriele Wexel, Andreas B Imhoff
Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy 2011, 19 (3): 495-502

PURPOSE: To evaluate single centrifuge platelet concentrate as additive for improved tendon healing. Platelet-rich plasma has been reported to improve tendon healing. Single centrifuge platelet concentration may increase platelet concentration enough to positively affect tendon healing. A single centrifuge process will lead to a blood product with increased platelet concentrations which, when added to a surgically created tendon injury, will improve tendon healing when compared with a saline control.

METHODS: Lewis rats had a surgical transection of the patellar tendon that was subsequently stabilized with a cerclage suture. Prior to skin closure, the tendon was saturated with either a concentrated platelet solution or saline. At 14 days, all animals were killed, and the extensor mechanism was isolated for testing. Biomechanical testing outputs included ultimate tensile load, stiffness, and energy absorbed.

RESULTS: Comparisons between the control group and the concentrated platelet group revealed no differences. A subgroup of the concentrated platelet group consisting of specimens in whom the concentration process was most successful showed significantly higher ultimate tensile load (P < 0.05) and energy absorbed to failure (P < 0.05) when compared to the control group.

CONCLUSION: When successful, single centrifuge platelet concentration yields a solution that improves tendon healing when compared with a saline control. Single-spin platelet concentration may yield a biologically active additive that may improve tendon healing, but more studies must be undertaken to ensure that adequate platelet concentration is possible.


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