The Role of Platelet Plasma Growth Factors in Male Pattern Baldness Surgery
Carlos Oscar Uebel, M.D., Ph.D.
Jefferson Braga da Silva, M.D., Ph.D.
Denise Cantarelli, M.Sc., Ph.D.
Pedro Martins, M.D.
From the Division Plastic Surgery and the Biologist Institute, Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul. Received for publication May 17, 2005; accepted August 2, 2005.
Presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 9 through 13, 2004, and at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, in New Orleans, Louisiana, April 29 through May 4, 2005.
Copyright ©2006 by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Background: Follicular units are commonly used in baldness surgery, and they have become a global procedure for both male and female patients. The yield from micrografts varies between 70 and 85 percent. Yield is determined by factors such as quality of the harvested donor area, preparation of the units, care taken during the implantation procedure, and follicular apoptosis. To improve hair density and stimulate follicular unit growth, an experimental study was designed using platelet plasma growth factors obtained from the patient’s autologous plasma.
Methods: The author established a protocol within a group of 20 patients with male pattern baldness. The data showed a gaussian distribution; to compare the two procedures involved in this clinical trial, the paired t test was used.
Results: The author observed a significant difference in the yield of follicular units when comparing the experimental with the control areas of the scalp (p < 0.001). The areas treated with platelet plasma growth factors demonstrated a yield of 18.7 follicular units per cm2, whereas the control areas yielded 16.4 follicular units per cm2, an increase in follicular density of 15.1 percent. Among patients who used the experimental protocol, some experienced only 3 percent and others experienced a 52 percent increase in density.
Conclusions: This study provides a new perspective and contribution to baldness surgery with follicular unit megasessions, ‘and demonstrates an improvement that can be introduced into baldness surgery clinics with less morbidity and a low cost-to-benefit ratio. Further studies may improve the efficiency of the technique and allow digital programs to better evaluate the increase in hair density. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 118: 1458, 2006.)
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