The use of autologous serum to treat corneal ulcers has been an effective practice for decades. Its anti-collagenolytic properties and growth factors are beneficial for helping to heal corneal epithelium.
Platelet-rich plasma contains a significant concentration of growth factors and has been introduced into the world of ophthalmology. A recent study looked at different commercially available PRP products and their effects on corneal healing as compared to the use of autlogous serum [Rushton, J.O.; Kammergruber, E.K.; et al. Effects of three blood derived products on equine corneal cells, an in vitro study. Equine Veterinary Journal, Nov 2017. DOI: 10.1111/evj.12770].
The corneal treatments were applied to healthy corneal limbal and stromal cells in culture. The treatments compared in 35 horses used:
- Autologous serum
- PRGF (platelet-rich plasma with growth factors) obtained with Endoret, KMU 15 US Disposable Kit
- PRP (platelet-rich plasma) produced using E-PET kit.
While proliferation of cells remained constant with PRGF, it decreased with serum. However, migration capacity was better with serum than PRGF, and significantly better with PRP. After 48 hours, cell proliferation decreased with serum treatment whereas PRP improved cell proliferation. Eosinophils within the PRP solution release cytokines and other growth factors relevant to corneal wound healing.
The results of the study demonstrate that “PRP produced with the E-PET system shows promising results by enhancing proliferative capacity, as well as migratory capacity after prolonged treatment of equine corneal cells in vitro.”