FRIDAY, Dec. 3, 2021 (HealthDay News) — For patients with symptomatic mild-to-moderate radiographic knee osteoarthritis (OA), intra-articular injections of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) do not significantly improve knee pain or reduce median tibial cartilage volume loss at 12 months compared with saline placebo injection, according to a study published in the Nov. 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Kim L. Bennell, Ph.D., from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and colleagues examined the effects of intra-articular PRP injections on symptoms and joint structure among 288 patients aged 50 years and older with symptomatic medial knee OA. Interventions in this randomized clinical trial included three intra-articular injections at weekly intervals of either leukocyte-poor PRP or saline (144 participants in each group).

Ninety-seven percent of the participants in both groups received all three injections. The researchers found that treatment with PRP versus placebo injection resulted in a mean change in knee pain scores of −2.1 and −1.8 points, respectively, after 12 months. The mean change in medial tibial cartilage volume was −1.4 and −1.2 percent, respectively, for treatment with PRP versus placebo injection. Twenty-nine of the 31 prespecified secondary outcomes showed no significant between-group differences.

“These findings do not support use of PRP for the management of knee OA,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry; a second author disclosed ties to the publishing and medical technology industries.

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