New therapeutic strategies have been established in chronic wound healing procedures, such as the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP). There is currently still uncertainty about the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and real safety of PRP in promoting chronic wound healing and what specific types of chronic wounds can benefit most from its use.
We conducted a systematic review of available scientific literature on the effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness of PRP compared to placebo, standard care or alternative topical therapies for the treatment of chronic wounds in adults. Overall effect size was estimated through a meta-analysis. A cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted using a Markov model which simulates the costs and health outcomes of individuals for a 5-year horizon, from the perspective of the Spanish National Health Service (NHS) for the PRP versus standard treatment in patients with diabetic foot ulcers. The effectiveness measure was quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). We ran extensive sensitivity analyses, including a probabilistic sensitivity analysis.
Sixteen RCTs and four observational studies were included for the effectiveness and safety meta-analysis. The primary outcome was the proportion of chronic wounds completely healed: 143 patients out of 334 (42.8 percent) were cured in the standard treatment arm and 251 patients out of 375 (66.9 percent) in the PRP arm, relative risk (RR) 1.68 (95% CI: 1.22–2.31). It was unclear whether there was a difference in the risk of infection (RR 0.53, 95% CI: 0.10–2.71) or adverse events (RR 1.05, 95% CI: 0.29–3.88) between PRP and standard care. Three studies were considered for the cost-effectiveness analysis. In the base case analysis, PRP led to higher QALYs and healthcare costs with an estimated incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of EUR 41,767 (USD 48,323)/QALY.
PRP treatment is more expensive and more effective than standard treatment. The estimated ICER is above the acceptability threshold in Spain.