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PRP use in sport and exercise medicine: be wary of science becoming the sham
  1. Jon Patricios1,
  2. Kimberly G Harmon2,
  3. Jonathan Drezner3
  1. 1 Wits Sport and Health (WiSH), School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  2. 2 Family Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  3. 3 Center for Sports Cardiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor Jon Patricios, Wits Sport and Health (WiSH), School of Clinical Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand Faculty of Health Sciences, Johannesburg 2050, Gauteng, South Africa; jpat{at}

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Sport and exercise medicine (SEM) is a fast-evolving discipline that relies on good science to guide best practice. An area that has garnered great interest among SEM clinicians and patients is the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) as a clinical intervention. PRP is increasingly used in a range of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries that are often unresponsive to standard therapies. PRP’s biological profile and accompanying minimal side effects make it an especially appealing modality. In several countries, it is also easily accessible for both doctor and patient and relatively affordable. However, as is often the case in medicine, and for a combination of these reasons, the use of PRP in many clinical scenarios has outstripped the science supporting its efficacy.

One such condition is chronic Achilles tendinopathy, where studies investigating the use of PRP have resulted in conflicting results with insufficient definitive guidance.1–3 To allow us to understand the efficacy of PRP in Achilles tendinopathy we require high-quality, well-controlled interventional studies peer reviewed by expert, experienced clinician–scientists and published in reputable journals. The recent study by Kearney et al, ‘Effect of …

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  • Twitter @jonpatricios, @DrKimHarmon, @DreznerJon

  • Contributors JD conceived the format of the paper and initiated a critical review of the paper by JP and KGH. JP reviewed the relevant editorial and pertinent literature and drafted the first version. KGH reviewed the draft and contributed further to its content before JD revised the final iteration.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests JD is editor-in-chief; JP is an editor; and KGH a deputy editor of British Journal of Sports Medicine.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.