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Platelet gel in the treatment of cutaneous ulcers: the experience of the Immunohaematology and Transfusion Centre of Parma

By Gino Bernuizzi, Saverio Tardito, Ovidio Bussolati, Daniela Adorni, Stefano Cantarelli, Francesco Fagnoni, Angelo Rossetti, Matteo Azzarone, Elena Ficarelli, Edoardo Caleffi, Giancarlo Gazzola and Massimo Franchini


Background. Platelet gel is being ever more frequently used to promote healing of cutaneous ulcers. However, the factors that determine the often variable clinical outcome of this procedure are still incompletely understood. Aims. The aims of this study were to demonstrate that platelet gel, even when obtained under strictly controlled conditions, produces highly variable outcomes in patients with cutaneous ulcers and to propose a method for in vitro standardisation of the biological properties of platelet gel.Material and methods. Patients were enrolled on the basis of a pre-defined protocol. Platelet concentrate was produced with standard methods, with a variability in platelet count among the different samples of less than 10%. The platelet gel for clinical use was obtained, under strictly standardized conditions, by adding thrombin and calcium gluconate to the concentrates. For instudies, platelet gel, obtained from platelet-rich plasma from four donors, was frozen and vitro thawed twice so as to increase gel contraction. The supernatant was used to modify cell proliferation, protein synthesis, and the expression of selected genes in cultures of human diploid fibroblasts.Results. Seventeen patients (aged 44-78 years) with ulcers (4 diabetic, 11 vascular, 1 posttraumatic, 1 decubitus) were treated with platelet gel (4 autologous, 13 homologous). Complete re-epithelialisation of four ulcers (1 diabetic, 1 post-traumatic, 2 vascular) was obtained after applications of platelet gel (2 autologous, 2 homologous); in 11 other cases there was a greater than 50% reduction in the size of the ulcer. Two patients had no benefit. The supernatant of the platelet gel was able to promote dose-dependent proliferation and changes in gene expression as well as in metabolic activities related to protein synthesis. Conclusions. Although the use of platelet gel in the treatment of cutaneous ulcers is increasing, and conditions for its production are better standardised, very considerable variability of clinicaloutcomes is still observed, even within single centres, suggesting that there are differences in biological properties of platelet concentrates from individual patients which cannot be readily controlled with current techniques. The biological effects of the platelet gel supernatant described in this article may provide the basis for a simple biological validation of platelet preparations before their clinical use, so as to reduce this potentially important source of variability.Key words: platelet gel, fibroblasts, ulcers, cell proliferation

Publisher: Edizioni SIMTI
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.2450/2009.0118-09
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Enlighten
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