FPIN's Help Desk Answers
Platelet-Rich Plasma for Androgenic Alopecia
Am Fam Physician. 2022 Jan ;105(1):84-85.
Are intradermal injections of autologous platelet-rich plasma an effective treatment for androgenic pattern hair loss?
Platelet-rich plasma injections more effectively increase hair density vs. usual treatment in men with androgenic alopecia. (Strength of Recommendation [SOR]: A, three meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials [RCTs] and cohort studies.) Platelet-rich plasma injections in men are also more effective than minoxidil, 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, and bimatoprost, but not low-level laser therapy. (SOR: A, network meta-analysis of RCTs.) Platelet-rich plasma injections pose little risk of serious adverse events. (SOR: A, meta-analysis of RCTs and cohort studies.) Platelet-rich plasma would be considered an off-label use because it does not have approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of androgenic alopecia.
A 2020 systematic review and meta-analysis of 13 RCTs (N = 343) examined the effectiveness of platelet-rich plasma injections for androgenic alopecia.1 Seven studies (n = 171; participants were 18 to 65 years of age and 58% were men) examined hair density changes from baseline. One study randomized people to platelet-rich plasma vs. placebo injections in an unblinded fashion. In the other six trials, patients blinded to treatment assignment randomly received injections of platelet-rich plasma on one-half of their head and a placebo on the other. In one study, minoxidil or finasteride (Propecia) was added to both the placebo and platelet-rich plasma injection groups. Patients had two to five platelet-rich plasma injections over the course of two months, with follow-up of three to six months. At follow-up, hair density per cm2 was compared with baseline. Pooled data favored the platelet-rich plasma group with a mean difference of 30.4 (95% CI, 1.8 to 58.9). Normal hair density is approximately 160 to 250 hairs per cm2. Considerable heterogeneity was noted (I2 = 100%). Va
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1. Dervishi G, Liu H, Peternel S, et al. Autologous platelet-rich plasma therapy for pattern hair loss: a systematic review. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2020;19(4):827–835.
2. Evans AG, Mwangi JM, Pope RW, et al. Platelet-rich plasma as a therapy for androgenic alopecia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Dermatolog Treat. 2020 [published online ahead of print].
3. Gupta AK, Bamimore MA, Foley KA. Efficacy of non-surgical treatments for androgenetic alopecia in men and women: a systematic review with network meta-analyses, and an assessment of evidence quality. J Dermatolog Treat. 2020 [published online ahead of print].
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