Platelet Rich Plasma
Platelet rich plasma has been used to treat orthopedic problems with some success when it is injected in a shoulder joint for example. The treatment consists of obtaining a blood sample from the patient, centrifuging the sample to remove the immune white blood cells and red blood cells. The remaining supernatant of plasma which contains the lighter platelets and various growth factors is believed to cause an inflammatory response and stimulate remodeling and angiogenesis. For these reasons, the transfer of PRP has been explored for a number of medical conditions including erectile dysfunction.
Injection into the corpora of the penis of PRP has been done in phase 0 clinical trial only with mixed results. Phase 0 clinical trial is basically done to demonstrate that there is no side effect of the treatment but not to show that it is efficacious. Furthermore, no long-term follow-up was performed to rule out possible scarring or fibrosis from injecting PRP into the penis. Data supporting its use in ED is exceedingly sparse and limited.
Similar, to shock wave therapy and stem cell treatment, PRP is also heavily marketed directly to desperate consumers at significant out of pocket expense without any proven efficacy to date.
Current data on these pseudo-restorative therapies including stem cell, shock wave therapy and plasma platelet rich penile injection do not support their use in the clinical setting of ED treatments. These therapies seem at first very attractive and therefore are very easily marketed to vulnerable desperate men by unscrupulous outfits. Additional standardized controlled clinical trials are needed to assess short- and long-term efficacy and safety. Patients who are interested in participating in a clinical trial should be referred to a clinical trial approved by a registered institutional review board. Furthermore, participants in clinical trial should not incur any cost and to the contrary should be compensated for their basic expenses.