Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2011) 10, 439 - 444

Research article
Influence of Intramuscular Application of Autologous Conditioned Plasma on Systemic Circulating IGF-1
Gert Schippinger1,2, , Karl Oettl3, Florian Fankhauser2, Stefan Spirk1,4, Wolfgang Domej5, Peter Hofmann1,4
Author Information
1 Human Performance Research Graz, University of Graz and Medical University of Graz,
2 Sportchirurgie Plus Graz,
3 Institute of Physiological Chemistry, Medical University of Graz,
4 Institute of Sports Science, University of Graz,
5 Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University of Graz, Austria

Gert Schippinger
✉ Human Performance Research , University of Graz and Medical University of Graz , Max-Mell-Allee 11, A-8010 Graz, Austria
Publish Date
Received: 28-03-2011
Accepted: 23-05-2011
Published (online): 01-09-2011
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Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to increase levels of platelets and growth factors has been used for the treatment of sports injuries suggesting to improve healing and regeneration. This method offers some potential especially for elite athletes. However, the insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is prohibited by the World Anti Doping Agency and, in addition, there may be a possible link between increased levels of IGF-1 and cancer risk. Aim of the study was to evaluate a systemic increase of IGF-1 after local intramuscular administration of PRP in young healthy moderately trained male subjects. Blood samples were drawn and PRP preparation was performed by means of centrifugation. Enriched plasma was injected into the gluteus muscle. Venous blood was collected and serum prepared before as well as after 0.5, 3 and 24 hours after PRP administration. IGF-1 analysis was performed applying an ELISA test kit. No significant systemic increase of mean IGF-1 was found after the PRP injection. Only one subject showed an increase after 24 h, but all IGF-1 values were found within reference limits. We conclude that a single intramuscular application of PRP does not significantly increase systemic IGF-1 levels. Therefore, a single application of PRP is safe with respect to systemic IGF-1 response and cancer risk and this should be allowed for treatment of muscle injuries in elite athletes.

Key words: Platelet rich plasma, intramuscular application, IGF-1, cancer risk, doping.

           Key Points
  • There is no increase of systemic IGF-1 levels after a single local intramuscular administration of PRP.
  • Professional athletes and non-athletes alike can benefit from such a treatment option for muscle injuries and related sports injuries without an increased risk of cancer.
  • More studies are warranted to provide definitive evidence to guide surgeon’s decision making regarding the appropriate use for PRP products.
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