Platelet-Rich Plasma: Healing Skin Wounds in Horses

Brazilian researchers report that platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is beneficial for healing surgical wounds in horses, contrary to previous reports.  

Because wound healing in horses is frequently problematic from both a clinical and economical point of view, methods to improve healing and minimize complications (such as the development of "proud flesh" or exuberant scar tissue) are desperately needed.

Researchers are looking into the use of PRP for treating numerous conditions in equine medicine, including wound repair. This is because platelets in PRP contain growth factors that stimulate growth of blood vessels and promote collagen synthesis. Further, PRP that is derived from the patient itself--referred to as autologous PRP--is biocompatible and, therefore, safe to use.

Researchers evaluated a PRP gel by surgically creating two full-thickness skin wounds on six horses. One wound on each horse was simply sutured closed using a standard suture material and pattern while the PRP gel was applied to the subcutaneous tissues in the second wound on each horse prior to suturing the wound. The researchers periodically biopsied the wounds over the next 45 days and examined the tissues microscopically to assess healing.

The authors reported that the treated wounds exhibited "more rapid epithelial differentiation and enhanced organization of dermal collagen," compared to the nontreated surgical wounds. Enhanced wound healing is thought to potentially benefit patients and their owners by providing quality, economical healing.

Details regarding the procedure used to prepare and administer the PRP gel are available in the full length article which is available free through PubMed.  

Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.

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