Plasma rich in growth factors (PRGF) for the treatment
of androgenetic alopecia
M. R. Navarro
A. M. Martínez
Received: 4 March 2015 /Accepted: 2 June 2015 /Published online: 21 June 2015
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015
Background Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is a common hair
disorder that affects both men and women all over the world.
Although it is far from being a life-threatening disease, the psy-
chosocial impact of AGA can provoke stress and a significant
decrease in life quality. The objective of this retrospective study
is to investigate the safety and efficacy of autologous plasma
rich in growth factors (PRGF) for the treatment of AGA.
Methods One hundred patients were included in this study.
They followedtwointradermal cycles of PRGF every 4 weeks.
Macrophotographs and trichograms were performed at base-
line and at 4 months after the first treatment in order to eval-
uate the overall improvement and determine the anagen/
telogen hair ratio, respectively.
Results Patients showed an overall increase in hair density.
Trichogram analysis showed that anagen hair follicles in-
creased significantly at 6.2 percentage points (p<0.05) com-
paring to baseline levels, while a decrease of 5.1 points
(p<0.05) was observed among telogen ones. No adverse ef-
fect was reported by any patient.
Conclusions Although more randomized clinical studies are
needed, our data suggest that PRGF has a positive therapeutic
effect on androgenetic alopecia showing no adverse effects
related to the treatment protocol.
Level of Evidence: Level III, therapeutic study.
Keywords Androgenetic alopecia
Plasma richin growth
Androgenetic alopecia (AGA), also known as pattern hair
loss, is the most common form of hair loss. By the age of
50–60, 45 % of men will develop AGAwhile 35 % of women
will be affected by this disorder [1, 2]. The distinctive clinical
presentations of AGA are related to differences in the amount
and distribution of androgen receptors and steroid-converting
enzymes of the outer root sheath of the hair follicles including
5α-reductase and cytochrome P-450-aromatase . However,
the underlying mechanism of androgenetic alopecia is similar
for both men and women. The pathogenesis involves a grad-
ual nonscarring miniaturization of hair follicles, which clini-
cally translates into the transformation of terminal follicles
into vellus-like hair. Additionally, a progressive decrease in
the duration of anagen phase is developed along with a reduc-
tion of the anagen to telogen follicle ratio . Although pat-
tern hair loss is a benign medical condition, affected individ-
uals experience great psycho-emotional stress, often leading
to a reduction of quality of life and secondary morbidity .
Currently, there are not many reliable treatments for the
management of AGA, being topical minoxidil and oral finas-
teride the only ones approved by the Food and Drug
Administration in the USA . However, there are some side
effects such as scalp itching, dryness, scaling, and burning as-
sociated to the use of minoxidil, while low libido and erectile
dysfunction is related to finasteride intake [7, 8]. Recently,
innovative approaches based on stem cells  and recombinant
growth factors  are also being evaluated. Another interest-
ing treatment lies on the application of autologous plasma and
platelet-derived proteins. In fact, there are some studies that
demonstrate encouraging outcomes when using this autologous
technology over androgenetic alopecia [11, 12].
Plasma rich in growth factors (PRGF) is a 100 % autologous
therapy based on the delivery of a pool of bioactive molecules
that ultimately enhance the organism’s own regenerative ability.
More than 20 years of research, added to its exclusive properties,
* E. Anitua
Centro Dermatológico-Estético de Alicante, C/ Alonso Cano 51,
03014 Alicante, Spain
Foundation Eduardo Anitua, Jacinto Quincoces, 39,
01007 Vitoria, Álava, Spain
Eur J Plast Surg (2015) 38:437–442