Wound healing involves complex mechanisms, which, if properly chaperoned, can enhance patient recovery. The abilities of platelets and keratinocytes may be harnessed in order to stimulate wound healing through the formation of platelet clots, the release of several growth factors and cytokines, and cell proliferation. The aim of the study was to test whether autologous keratinocyte suspensions in platelet concentrate would improve wound healing. The study was conducted at the Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland in 45 patients, randomized to three different topical treatment groups: standard treatment serving as control, autologous platelet concentrate (PC) and keratinocytes suspended in autologous platelet concentrate (PC + K). Split thickness skin graft donor sites were chosen on the anterolateral thighs of patients undergoing plastic surgery for a variety of defects. Wound healing was assessed by the duration and quality of the healing process. Pain intensity was evaluated at day five.
Healing time was reduced from 13.9 ± 0.5 days (mean ± SEM) in the control group to 7.2 ± 0.2 days in the PC group (P < 0.01). An addition of keratinocytes in suspension further reduced the healing time to 5.7 ± 0.2 days. Pain was reduced in both the PC and PC + K groups. Data showed a statistically detectable advantage of using PC + K over PC alone (P < 0.01).
The results demonstrate the positive contribution of autologous platelets combined with keratinocytes in stimulating wound healing and reducing pain. This strikingly simple approach could have a significant impact on patient care, especially critically burned victims for whom time is of the essence.
Clinical trial registry information
Protocol Record Identification Number: 132/03
Registry URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov