Purpose: To investigate the effect of platelet-rich fibrin on bone formation by investigating its use in guided bone regeneration, sinus elevation and implant therapy.
Keywords: biomaterials, bone graft, growth factors, platelet-rich fibrin, platelet concentrates
Materials and methods: This systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted and reported in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. The eligibility criteria comprised human controlled clinical trials comparing the clinical outcomes of platelet-rich fibrin with those of other treatment modalities. The outcomes measured included percentage of new bone formation, percentage of residual bone graft, implant survival rate, change in bone dimension (horizontal and vertical), and implant stability quotient values.
Results: From 320 articles identified, 18 studies were included. Owing to the heterogeneity of the investigated parameters, a meta-analysis was only possible for sinus elevation. There is a general lack of data from comparative randomised clinical trials evaluating platelet-rich fibrin for guided bone regeneration procedures (only two studies), with no quantifiable advantages in terms of new bone formation or dimensional bone gain found in the platelet-rich fibrin group. For sinus elevation, the meta-analysis demonstrated no advantage in terms of histological new bone formation in the control group (bone graft alone) compared with the test group (bone graft and platelet-rich fibrin). Two studies demonstrated that platelet-rich fibrin may shorten healing periods prior to implant placement. Platelet-rich fibrin was also shown to slightly enhance primary implant stability (implant stability quotient value < 5) as assessed using implant stability quotients and resonance frequency analysis parameters, with no histological data evaluating bone–implant contact yet available on this topic. In one study, platelet-rich fibrin was shown to improve the clinical parameters when utilised as an adjunct for the treatment of peri-implantitis.
Conclusions: In the majority of studies, platelet-rich fibrin offered little or no clear advantage in terms of new bone formation as evaluated in various studies on guided bone regeneration and sinus elevation, nor in implant stability and treatment of peri-implantitis. Various authors and systematic reviews on the topic have now expressed criticism of the various study designs and protocols, and the lack of appropriate controls and available information regarding patient selection. Well-controlled human studies on these specific topics are required.
Conflict-of-interest statement: Richard J Miron holds intellectual property on platelet-rich fibrin.
All other authors declare no conflicts of interest.