Research in Engineering and Aviation

A Case Report on the Use of Sustained Release Platelet-Rich Plasma for the Treatment of Chronic Pressure Ulcers

January 2011

Author(s): Sell, S.A., Ericksen, J.J., Reis, T.W., Droste, L.R., Bhuiyan, M.B.A., and D.R. Gater

Journal: Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, 34 (1), pp. 122-127, 2011. DOI: 10.1179/107902610X12923394765616


Background/objectives: Chronic pressure ulcers affect patient health, emotional state, and quality of life, causing considerable morbidity and mortality in addition to contributing to significant health care costs from lengthy hospitalizations to advanced home care and surgical care costs. The conventional treatment of these wounds can be slow due to their chronic inflammatory state and the senescence of local reparative cells. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy has been growing as a viable treatment alternative for a number of clinical applications and has potential benefit for use in chronic wounds. The sustained release of large quantities of autologous growth factors, cytokines, and other mediators found in PRP plus the favorable mononuclear cell profile of PRP may help us to stimulate wound healing and resolve chronic inflammation.

Methods: Three veterans with spinal cord injury (SCI), presenting with chronic stage IV pressure ulcers, were treated with a sustained release PRP therapy to stimulate wound healing.

Results: PRP treatment consistently resulted in the formation of granulation tissue and improved vascularity for each of the three patients treated, while reducing the overall ulcer area and volume.

Conclusion: The controlled release of growth factors from PRP demonstrated a positive stimulatory effect on the healing rate of chronic pressure ulcers in individuals with SCI.