Platelet-Rich Plasma May Improve Osteochondral Donor Site Healing in a Rabbit Model

Niall A. Smyth, Amgad M. Haleem, Keir A. Ross, Charles P. Hannon, Christopher D. Murawski, Huong T. Do, John G. Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the effect(s) of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) on osteochondral donor site healing in a rabbit model. Methods: Osteochondral donor sites 3 mm in diameter and 5 mm in depth were created bilaterally on the femoral condyles of 12 New Zealand White rabbits. Knees were randomized such that one knee in each rabbit received an intra-articular injection of PRP and the other received saline (placebo). Rabbits were euthanized at 3, 6, and 12 weeks following surgery. Repair tissue was evaluated using the International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) macroscopic and histological scores. Results: No complications occurred as a result of the interventions. There was no significant difference in macroscopic scores between the 2 groups (5.5 ± 3.8 vs. 3.8 ± 3.5; P = 0.13). Subjective macroscopic assessment determined greater tissue infill with fewer fissures and a more cartilage-like appearance in PRP-treated knees. Overall ICRS histological scores were better in the PRP group compared with the placebo (9.8 ± 2.0 vs. 7.8 ± 1.8; P = 0.04). Histological scores were also higher in the PRP group compared with the placebo group at each time point. Greater glycosaminoglycan and type II collagen content were noted in the repair tissue of the PRP group compared with the placebo group. Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that PRP used as an intra-articular injection may improve osteochondral healing in a rabbit model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-111
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • animal models
  • articular cartilage
  • cytokines and growth factors
  • general
  • growth factors
  • tissue


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