Original Research

Clinical findings, synovial fluid cytology and growth factor concentrations after intra-articular use of a platelet-rich product in horses with osteoarthritis

Yolandi Smit, Hendrik J. Marais, Peter N. Thompson, Arnold T. Mahne, Amelia Goddard
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 90 | a1721 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v90i0.1721 | © 2019 Yolandi Smit, Hendrik J. Marais, Peter N. Thompson, Arnold T. Mahne, Amelia Goddard | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 August 2018 | Published: 23 May 2019

About the author(s)

Yolandi Smit, Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies, University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort, South Africa
Hendrik J. Marais, Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies, University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort, South Africa; and, Saving the Survivors, Pretoria, South Africa
Peter N. Thompson, Department of Production Animal Studies, University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort, South Africa
Arnold T. Mahne, Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies, University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort, South Africa; and, BAKER McVEIGH Cape Town, Milnerton, South Africa
Amelia Goddard, Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies, University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort, South Africa


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Abstract

Osteoarthritis is a common cause of lameness in horses, resulting in poor performance. Intra-articular platelet-rich plasma can deliver a collection of bioactive molecules, such as autologous growth factors and proteins involved in the quality of tissue repair. Horses (n=5) with osteoarthritis affecting antebrachiocarpal, middle carpal or metacarpophalangeal joints, and horses (n=5) without osteoarthritis of the corresponding joints (radiographically free of osteoarthritis), were used for the production of platelet-rich plasma which was subsequently injected into selected joints. Clinical and synovial fluid changes after intra-articular injection of platelet-rich plasma as well as synovial platelet-derived growth factor-BB and transforming growth factor-beta 1 concentration changes were evaluated in these joints and compared between normal joints and joints with osteoarthritis. A gravity filtration system produced a moderately concentrated platelet-rich plasma, representing a 4.7-fold increase in baseline platelet concentration. The synovial effusion score was significantly different between the control joints and joints with osteoarthritis on Day 0 with a higher score in the group with osteoarthritis. Within the control group, the synovial effusion score was significantly higher on Days 1 and 2 compared to Day 0. For both groups, the synovial fluid nucleated cell count, predominantly intact neutrophils, was significantly increased on Days 1 and 2, with no significant difference between groups. The mean synovial platelet-derived growth factor-BB and transforming growth factor-beta 1 concentrations were increased for both groups but significantly lowered in the group with osteoarthritis on Day 1 compared to normal joints. Concentrations for platelet-derived growth factor-BB remained unchanged on Day 5, compared to Day 1, with no significant difference between groups. In conclusion, intra-articular treatment with platelet-rich plasma resulted in increased synovial growth factor concentrations in joints but with lower concentrations in joints with osteoarthritis. A transient inflammatory reaction was seen both clinically as an increase in synovial effusion and cytologically in both normal joints and joints with osteoarthritis.

Keywords

horse; osteoarthritis; platelet-rich plasma; intra-articular

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