The results of a small pilot study in which a patient’s blood platelets were used as a topical gel to heal wounds were recently published in the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery.
David Hom, MD, now at the University of Cincinnati, and colleagues compared conventional wound treatment with a wound treatment using a blood platelet-based gel.
The study consisted of eight healthy volunteers—four male and four female, all aged 21 or older. Each received 5 full-thickness, 4-mm skin punch wounds on their thighs. Their own (autologous) platelet gel was used on one thigh, and an antibiotic ointment and/or a semiocclusive dressing was applied on the other. Wound healing was monitored for 6 months.
Over a 42-day period, the researchers found that the skin wounds treated with the autologous platelet gel (APG) had a statistically increased wound closure compared with the antibiotic-treated sites. Increased growth factors, essential in wound healing, were increased in the APG-treated sites.
“Overall, some of the APG-treated wound sites healed two to three days faster,” says Hom. “That’s a significant amount of time. This may be especially useful for patients who are prone to poor healing, such as those with diabetes.”
Illustration: MicroSoft clipart.
Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery 2007;9:174-183.
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