Difference Between PRP and Stem Cell Therapy l PRP vs Stem Cell Therapy


The key difference between PRP and stem cell therapy is that PRP is a method that uses platelets rich plasma injections to treat injuries and other tissue damages while stem cell therapy is a method that uses different types of stem cells to treat a wide range of diseases, injuries and other health conditions.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapy are two safe, effective and promising methods of disease treatment. They come under the techniques of regenerative medicine. Both methods are able to relieve pain and restore patients’ mobility without performing invasive surgery. PRP therapy carries out using the blood of the injured person. Furthermore, it interacts with the natural healing process of the patient and accelerates the process for speedy recovery. But, stem cell therapy focuses mainly on replacing the injured tissue with healthy and undifferentiated stem cells.  However, both methods fulfil the orthopaedic needs of patients.

CONTENTS

1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is PRP Therapy
3. What is Stem Cell Therapy
4. Similarities Between PRP and Stem Cell Therapy
5. Side by Side Comparison – PRP vs Stem Cell Therapy in Tabular Form
6. Summary

What is PRP Therapy?

Platelet-rich plasma therapy or PRP is a treatment mode that helps to rapid recovery from the injuries. It acts as a permanent solution for conditions such as arthritis and ligament/tendon sprains and tears. Moreover, PRP uses the natural healing process of the body and promotes and accelerates tissue repair and healing. Often doctors encourage patients to undergo PRP to reduce inflammation and achieve rapid healing. Furthermore, PRP therapy is able to encourage hair growth to promote soft tissue healing. All these abilities of PRP are due to the fact that the platelets are rich in growth and healing factors. Hence, PRP helps to get rid of many symptoms such as swelling, stiffness, inflammation, tenderness, and pain. In addition, PRP is an effective method of treating osteoarthritis. Accordingly, PRP stimulates healing of cartilage and reducing pain and disability.

Difference Between PRP and Stem Cell Therapy l PRP vs Stem Cell Therapy

Figure 01: PRP Therapy

PRP is a simple procedure that involves drawing a small blood sample from the patient and then centrifuging it to collect concentrated platelets rich plasma and injecting back into the injured tendon, ligament, muscle, joint, or disc. Hence no joint replacement surgery or any surgery involves with PRP. However, since PRP is a treatment procedure, it can cause several side effects such as mild nausea, passing out and dizziness, etc. Furthermore, the success of the PRP depends upon the severity of the injury.

What is Stem Cell Therapy?

Stem cell therapy is a treatment that uses stem cells to prevent or treat a disease or a condition. It belongs to regenerative medicine, and it is a promising method for treating a wide range of diseases, injuries and other health-related conditions including leukaemia, tissue grafts, cancer, etc. Stem cell therapy mainly focuses on repairing the diseased or dysfunctional or injured tissue using stem cells.  This is due to the fact that the stem cells have a great potential for tissue regeneration and repair since they are capable of self-renewing and differentiating into specific cell types.

Difference Between PRP and Stem Cell Therapy l PRP vs Stem Cell Therapy

Figure 02: Stem Cell Therapy

A bone marrow transplant is one of the commonest stem cell therapies. Furthermore, umbilical cord cells also a good source for stem cell therapy. Likewise different types of stem cells involve with stem cell therapy, and they serve different purposes in the body.  Stem cells can be multipotent or pluripotent. However, more human stem cell research projects should be carried out since most of the researches are done on mice, and it differs from human stem cell biology.

What are the Similarities Between PRP and Stem Cell Therapy?

  • PRP and Stem Cell Therapy are two techniques of new regenerative medicine.
  • Both methods do not involve invasive surgeries.
  • Also, both methods involve in orthopaedic treatment.
  • Furthermore, both are safe and effective methods.

What is the Difference Between PRP and Stem Cell Therapy?

Regenerative medicine focused on regenerating, replacing or engineering injured tissues and organs to restore normal functioning of a human. PRP and stem cell therapy are two techniques of regenerative medicine. The difference between PRP and stem cell therapy is that PRP uses a platelet-rich plasma of the patients’ blood which has growth factors while stem cell therapy uses stem cells that have the ability to self-renew and differentiate into specific cell types. Another difference between PRP and stem cell therapy is that the involvement with the natural healing process of the patient. PRP involves the natural healing process and accelerates it while stem cell therapy does not involve with the natural healing process, but focuses on replacing the injured tissue.

The below infographic provides further details on the difference between PRP and stem cell therapy.

Difference Between PRP and Stem Cell Therapy l PRP vs Stem Cell Therapy

Summary – PRP vs Stem Cell Therapy

PRP focuses on the rapid healing of injuries by injecting platelets rich plasma to accelerate natural healing process while stem cell therapy focuses on replacing injured tissues with new stem cells. This is the key difference between PRP and stem cell therapy. Furthermore, PRP is a simple and quick procedure than the stem cell therapy, which consumes more time that the PRP. However, both methods are easy, effective and safe methods used in regenerative medicine. Therefore, this is the brief description of the difference between PRP and stem cell therapy.

Reference:

1.“Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment.” Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection Therapy Treatment | VSI. Available here  
2.Biehl, Jesse K., and Brenda Russell. “Introduction to Stem Cell Therapy.” The Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2009. Available here  

Image Courtesy:

1.”Prp-hand-rejuvenation-ama-regenerative-medicine”By Alice Pien – Own work, (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia  
2.”21240534639″ by Libertas Academica (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

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