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Vampire facial is the same as Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), a concentrate of platelet-rich plasma protein derived from whole blood, centrifuged to remove red blood cells. It has a greater concentration of growth factors than whole blood, and has been used to encourage a brisk healing response across several specialties, in particular dentistry, orthopedics and dermatology.
As a concentrated source of blood plasma and autologous conditioned plasma, PRP contains several different growth factors and other cytokines that can stimulate healing of soft tissue and joints. Main indication in sports medicine and orthopedics are acute muscle strains, tendinopathy and muscle-fascial injuries and osteoarthritis.
Main indications in dermatology for PRP are androgenic alopecia, wound healing, and skin rejuvenation. For preparation of PRP, various protocols are used, with an underlying principle of concentrating platelets to 3–5 times physiological levels, then injecting this concentrate in the tissue where healing is desired.
In the field of aesthetics and plastic surgery, the clinical application is particularly wide and is under the name of Regenerative Plastic Surgery. PRP associated with adipose tissue, is given for breast reconstruction, facial soft tissues defects, lower extremity ulcers and scars.
Promising results were obtained in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia, as emerged from scientific studies published since 2013. Among these, the most significant by impact factor is the randomized scientific-clinical study of the clinical-instrumental evaluation of the effect of PRP in androgenetic alopecia published in 2015 by Pietro Gentile et al and a multidisciplinary team at the University of Rome Tor Vergata The Effect of Platelet Rich Plasma in Hair Regrowth: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial.
Whole blood placed in Centrifuge prior to two stage centrifugation
There are four general categories of preparation of PRP based on its leukocyte and fibrin content: leukocyte-rich PRP (L-PRP), leukocyte reduced PRP (P-PRP; leukocyte reduced or pure PRP), leukocyte platelet-rich fibrin and pure platelet-rich fibrin.
The efficacy of certain growth factors in healing various injuries and the concentrations of these growth factors found within PRP are the theoretical basis for the use of PRP in tissue repair. The platelets collected in PRP are activated by the addition of thrombin and calcium chloride, which induces the release of the mentioned factors from alpha granules.
As of 2009 there have been two PRP preparation methods approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Both processes involve the collection of the patient's whole blood (that is anticoagulated with citrate dextrose) before undergoing two stages of centrifugation (TruPRP) (Harvest) (Pure PRP) designed to separate the PRP aliquot from platelet-poor plasma and red blood cells. In humans, the typical baseline blood platelet count is approximately 200,000 per µL; therapeutic PRP concentrates the platelets by roughly five-fold. There is broad variability in the production of PRP by various concentrating equipment and techniques.
There are no studies to date that have reliably documented adverse effects associated with PRP treatment, possibly due to poor and inconsistent methodology.
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