A new study published in the Journal of Animal and Poultry Sciences by researchers out of Shiraz University in Iran examined the use of Platelet Rich Plasma for the treatment of Osteoarthritis in guinea pigs. Twenty guinea pigs were anesthetized, and given a surgically induced ACL injury to the Stifle joint to stimulate arthritic changes in the knee. At 12 weeks post -injury, all of the guinea pigs exhibited characteristic Osteoarthritic changes on X Ray imaging, including marginal osteophytes, narrowing of joint space, and subchondral bone sclerosis. Each of the X rays was assigned a radiographic arthritis grading between 0 (no arthritic changes) and 4 (severe arthritic changes). At 12 weeks, half of the Guinea pigs were treated with a .4ml intra-articular injection of PRP, while the other half acted as a control group, receiving no treatment at all.
Upon completion of the 20 week study, a second X ray was taken and compared to the 12 week image. The results revealed that guinea pigs treated with PRP showed an average decrease of 2 scores in the radiographic arthritis scale , while the non-PRP group showed an average increase of 2 scores. Furthermore, the PRP group revealed decreases in subchondral bone sclerosis and osteophyte formation in comparison to the control group. This study adds to the understanding of the regenerative potential of PRP for Osteoarthritis, due to the radiographic evidence in slowing joint pathology associated with Osteoarthritis. Previous studies have relied on pain assessments and functional improvements to monitor PRP benefit. Although further animal studies and human trials are needed to fully assess the efficacy of PRP for cartilage healing and Arthritis, this study provides further evidence for its regenerative potential.