Using ultrasound to guide platelet rich plasma injections is becoming more popular. For some indications it may be crucial. Importantly, ultrasound may an excellent way to test the value of platelet rich plasma for tendon related injuries and disorders. In the following study, Bosch et al did just that. The researchers confirmed the value of ultrasound and also found PRP treated cases had better tissue alignment.
"The effectiveness of new therapies to treat tendon injuries is difficult to determine and is often based on semi-quantitative methods, such as grey level analysis of ultrasonographic images or subjective pain scores. The alternatives are costly and long-lasting end-stage studies using experimental animals. In this study, a method of ultrasonographic tissue characterisation (UTC), using mathematical analysis of contiguous transverse ultrasonographic images, was used for intra-vital monitoring of the healing trajectory of standardised tendon lesions treated with platelet rich plasma (PRP) or placebo. Using UTC it was possible to detect significant differences between the groups in the various phases of repair. At end stage, over 80% of pixels showed correct alignment in the PRP group, compared with just over 60% in the placebo group (P<0.05). UTC also showed significant differences in the course of the healing process between PRP treated and placebo treated animals throughout the experiment. It was concluded that computerised analysis of ultrasonographic images is an excellent tool for objective longitudinal monitoring of the effects of treatments for superficial digital flexor tendon lesions in horses."