Systematic Review|Articles in Press

Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis Who Receive Platelet-Rich Plasma or Bone-Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Injections Have Better Outcomes Than Patients Who Receive Hyaluronic Acid: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis



      To systematically review the literature in order to compare the efficacy and safety of platelet-rich plasma (PRP), bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC), and hyaluronic acid (HA) injections for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis (OA).


      A systematic review was performed by searching PubMed, the Cochrane Library, and Embase to identify Level I studies that compared the clinical efficacy of at least 2 of the following 3 injection therapies: PRP, BMAC, and HA for knee OA. The search phrase used was knee AND osteoarthritis AND randomized AND (“platelet rich plasma” OR “bone marrow aspirate” OR “hyaluronic acid”). Patients were primarily assessed based on patient-reported outcome scores (PROs) including the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, and Subjective International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) score.


      Twenty-seven studies (all Level I) met inclusion criteria, including 1,042 patients undergoing intra-articular injection(s) with PRP (mean age 57.7 years, mean follow-up 13.5 months), 226 patients with BMAC (mean age 57.0 years, mean follow-up 17.5 months), and 1,128 patients with HA (mean age 59.0 years, mean follow-up 14.4 months). Non-network meta-analyses demonstrated significantly better post-injection WOMAC (p < 0.001), VAS (p < 0.01), and Subjective IKDC scores (p < 0.001) in PRP patients when compared to HA patients. Similarly, network meta-analyses demonstrated significantly better post-injection WOMAC (p < 0.001), VAS (p = 0.03), and Subjective IKDC (p < 0.001) scores in BMAC patients when compared to HA patients. There were no significant differences in post-injection outcome scores when comparing PRP to BMAC.


      Patients undergoing treatment for knee OA with PRP or BMAC can be expected to experience improved clinical outcomes when compared to HA patients.

      Level of Evidence

      I, Meta-Analysis of Level I studies
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