Daily Vet Life: Equine Tendonitis and Autologous Protein Solution Treatments

using autologous protein solution (APS) for equine tendon healing
legs of gray horse cantering
Many practitioners must face tendon injuries in their patients, but there still are questions on which of the available orthobiologics (such as autologous protein solution) work best on which injuries. iStock

Angela Gaesser, DVM, DACVS, spoke on Evaluation of Autologous Protein Solution Injection for Treatment of Tendonitis in an Equine Model at the 2021 AAEP Convention.

Editor’s Note: The 2022 AAEP Convention coming up fast . We know how hard it is to get to all of the talks you want to hear each year. Therefore, EquiManagement and Zoetis have partnered to bring you short summaries from selected 2021 AAEP Convention presentations! Whether you missed these presentations or table topics or you just would like to listen to the presenters speak on the topics again, we invite you to tune in for all of these podcasts.

Autologous protein solution (APS) is a technique that concentrates platelets, growth factors and anti-inflammatory cytokines through a two-step centrifugation process. Production of APS does not require a 24-hour incubation period, making it a more appealing product for equine veterinarians.

Research has noted that orthobiologics such as autologous conditioned serum (ACS) and autologous protein solution (APS) might be useful in decreasing post-traumatic inflammation. That could help prevent post-traumatic osteoarthritis.

Gaesser talked about the effects of autologous protein solutions compared to other types of regenerative therapies. She discussed that practitioners want a faster way to heal tendon injuries with better biomechanical results.

She discussed research on core lesions in the deep digital flexor tendon and how healing processes with various treatments. While some results were promising, Gaesser said researchers need to compare treatments head-to-head and for a longer period of time.

Use in Practice

Gaesser said a question during the AAEP presentation focused on how practitioners can use current information to dictate what to do in day-to-day practice.

Her response was that researchers don’t know yet. “There were some positive effect and no negatives early” in the research process on APS, she noted. “We need a large clinical trial with more horses. We are very early in studying APS. But its use is similar to how we use PRP in the first two weeks after injury.”

About Dr. Angela Gaesser

Angela Gaesser, DVM, DACVS, is the COHA Translational Research Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. The “C” in COHA stands for Clinical and Translational Science Award. “OHA” is for One Health Alliance. She received her DVM from Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2015. She then completed internships at Tennessee Equine Hospital and New Bolton Center, followed by a surgical residency. Gaesser’s research is focused on musculoskeletal disease.

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