Clinical findings, synovial fluid cytology and growth factor concentrations after intra-articular use of a platelet-rich product in horses with osteoarthritis.

Affiliation

Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies, University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort. [Email]

Abstract

Osteoarthritis is a common cause of lameness in horses, resulting in poor performance. Intra-articular platelet-rich plasma can deliver a collection of bioactive molecules, such as autologous growth factors and proteins involved in the quality of tissue repair. Horses (n=5) with osteoarthritis affecting antebrachiocarpal, middle carpal or metacarpophalangeal joints, and horses (n=5) without osteoarthritis of the corresponding joints (radiographically free of osteoarthritis), were used for the production of platelet-rich plasma which was subsequently injected into selected joints. Clinical and synovial fluid changes after intra-articular injection of platelet-rich plasma as well as synovial platelet-derived growth factor-BB and transforming growth factor-beta 1 concentration changes were evaluated in these joints and compared between normal joints and joints with osteoarthritis. A gravity filtration system produced a moderately concentrated platelet-rich plasma, representing a 4.7-fold increase in baseline platelet concentration. The synovial effusion score was significantly different between the control joints and joints with osteoarthritis on Day 0 with a higher score in the group with osteoarthritis. Within the control group, the synovial effusion score was significantly higher on Days 1 and 2 compared to Day 0. For both groups, the synovial fluid nucleated cell count, predominantly intact neutrophils, was significantly increased on Days 1 and 2, with no significant difference between groups. The mean synovial platelet-derived growth factor-BB and transforming growth factor-beta 1 concentrations were increased for both groups but significantly lowered in the group with osteoarthritis on Day 1 compared to normal joints. Concentrations for platelet-derived growth factor-BB remained unchanged on Day 5, compared to Day 1, with no significant difference between groups. In conclusion, intra-articular treatment with platelet-rich plasma resulted in increased synovial growth factor concentrations in joints but with lower concentrations in joints with osteoarthritis. A transient inflammatory reaction was seen both clinically as an increase in synovial effusion and cytologically in both normal joints and joints with osteoarthritis.

Keywords

horse,intra-articular,osteoarthritis,platelet-rich plasma,

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