Sports Pharmacology

  • F. Pigozzi
  • P. Borrione
  • A. Di Gianfrancesco


It is widely accepted that growth factors play a central role in healing processes, by modulating cellular recruitment, duplication, activation, and differentiation. This observation underlies the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in several orthopedic circumstances, all of them characterized by the need to activate, modulate, speed up, and/or ameliorate tissue repair. There is extensive documentation in both animal and human studies, with widespread applications, demonstrating the safety and efficacy of PRP. Unfortunately, the precise biological efficacy and a lack of long-term side effects have yet to be clearly demonstrated. Indeed, not all studies on autologous growth factors have shown favorable results when considering the promotion of bone formation and healing, tissue grafting, and wound repair. In sports medicine, doping-related issues are still a matter of debate when considering of the therapeutic use of PRP in sports-related injuries. In this chapter, PRP applications in orthopedic medicine are described. The limitations of this therapeutic approach are discussed as are issues related to PRP and anti-doping regulations.


Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Hepatocyte Growth Factor Achilles Tendon Plantar Fasciitis Myositis Ossificans 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Frechette JP, Martineau I, Gagnon G (2005) Platelet-rich plasmas: growth factor content and roles in wound healing. J Dent Res 84:434–439PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lynch SE, Colvin RB, Antoniades HN (1989) Growth factors in wound healing. J Clin Invest 84:640–646PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Mehta S, Watson JT (2008) Platelet rich concentrate: basic science and current clinical applications. J Orthop Trauma 22:432–428PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Foster TE, Puskas BL, Mandelbaum BR et al (2009) Platelet-rich plasma: from basic science to clinical applications. Am J Sports Med 37:2259–2272PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Appel TR, Potzsch B, Müller J et al (2002) Comparison of three different preparations of platelet concentrates for growth factors enrichment. Clin Oral Implants Res 13:522–528PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sanchez M, Anitua E, Orive G et al (2009) Platelet-rich therapies in the treatment of orthopaedic sport injuries. Sports Med 39:345–354PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Alsousou J, Thompson M, Hulley P et al (2009) The biology of platelet-rich plasma and its application in trauma and orthopaedic surgery: a review of the literature. J Bone Joint Surg Br 91:987–996PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hammond JW, Hinton RY, Curl LA et al (2009) Use of autologous platelet-rich plasma to treat muscle strain injuries. Am J Sports Med 37:1135–1142PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sampson S, Gerhardt M, Mandelbaum B (2008) Platelet rich plasma injection grafts for musculoskeletal injuries: a review. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med 1:165–174PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Al-Aql ZS, Alagl AS, Graves DT et al (2008) Molecular mechanisms controlling bone formation during fracture healing and distraction osteogenesis. J Dent Res 87:107–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lieberman JR, Daluiski A, Einhom TA (2002) The role of growth factors in the repair of bone: biology and clinical applications. J Bone Joint Surg Am 84:1032–1044PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Martinez-Zapata MJ, Marti-Carvajal A, Sola I et al (2009) Efficacy and safety of the use of autologous plasma rich in platelets for tissue regeneration: a systematic review. Transfusion 49:44–56PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    The World Anti-Doping Code, the 2010 Prohibited list, International Standard (2009) Accessed 25 Nov 2009Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Banfi G, Corsi MM, Volpi P (2006) Could platelet rich plasma have effects on systemic circulating growth factors and cytokine release in orthopaedic applications? Br J Sports Med 40:816PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Creaney L, Hamilton B (2008) Growth factor delivery methods in the management of sport injuries: the state of play. Br J Sports Med 42:314–320PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Pigozzi
  • P. Borrione
  • A. Di Gianfrancesco

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations