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Papers of the Week

2022 Aug




The Effects of Intra-articular Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections in Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Narrative Review.


Moeda F, Melo X, Hatia M, Pinho S, Calado D, Branco JC, Gonçalves MJ
Cureus. 2022 Aug; 14(8):e28182.
PMID: 36148189.


Platelet-rich plasma injections have been a therapeutic option with exponential growth in several pathologies in the last decades, particularly musculoskeletal for their effect on improving pain and functionality. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic joint disease, which involves inflammation of the synovial membrane with cartilage and juxta-articular bone destruction. Conventional and biological disease-modifying anti-rheumatoid drugs are the cornerstone of the treatment of this disease. However, the use of intra-articular glucocorticoids is often necessary and the role of platelet-rich plasma injections in these patients remains uncertain. A literature review was carried out through the PubMed database, Cochrane and Google Scholar for the search terms "rheumatoid arthritis" and "platelet-rich plasma". Eleven studies have been included in this review: two of these are studies, five are animal studies, one case report, two case series and one randomized controlled trial. Most of the studies demonstrated a decrease in pain and inflammatory mediators and improvement of functional outcomes, with no severe adverse effects reported. However, the quantity and quality of literature about the effects and safety of plasma-rich plasma injections in rheumatoid arthritis patients are still scarce. It is essential that well-designed randomized controlled trials are made on this topic to understand if platelet-rich plasma may be useful as a coadjuvant therapy in rheumatoid arthritis.