IRAP & ACP/PRP Therapy
Service provided by Equine Veterinary Care
The use of Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-Ra) protein is one of the newest developments in the treatment of osteoarthritis. It is produced by withdrawing a sample of the patient's blood into a syringe containing specially treated Chromium glass beads. During a 24 hour incubation period, the red blood cells interact with the bead's surface stimulating the production of large quantities of IRAP and other anti-inflammatory proteins and growth factors. The blood is then placed in a high-speed centrifuge to separate out the resulting serum which can be injected into a problem joint or frozen for future use.
Osteoarthritis can become a vicious cycle because damaged cartilage cells produce interleukins that incite further inflammation thereby breaking down cartilage even more. IRAP therapy can inhibit this disease process. IRAP competes with the degrading force of interleukin-1 (IL-1) for the same receptor sites in the horse's affected joint; therefore, by adding IRAP into a damaged joint, the less IL-1 will be able to harm your horse. Our veterinarians routinely use this product in young horses with relatively benign synovitis and capsulitis, horses in training with developing osteoarthritis and post-surgically if cartilage loss would otherwise decrease the prognosis for the athlete to return to competition. Used early enough, IRAP treatment may be as close to a "cure" as veterinarians have for some horses, halting the degradative cycle before it spirals out of control.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
The use of PRP for the treatment of a variety of soft tissue tendon and ligament injuries is rapidly expanding. After taking a sample of the patient's blood, in minutes a high-speed centrifuge separates blood plasma rich in platelets from the red blood cells. This PRP with its associated growth factors is then immediately injected into the soft tissue lesions creating what some call a "super-clot" that serves to help create a biologic scaffold upon which the body's own cells migrate and produce new collagen fibrils along lines of tension in the structure being treated. Sometimes even used in conjunction with stem cell treatment, PRP is a fast, stall-side treatment that uses the horse's own cells and molecules to stimulate more rapid and stronger healing in a variety of structures.
ACell is a commercially available purified collagen-rich biologic matrix that induces the migration of the body's cells into a site of soft tissue damage to stimulate healing. After the supplied powder is dissolved, the medication is injected directly into the site of injury within a tendon or ligament. Also created as a sheet to cover severe wounds, ACell can act as a biologic scaffold speeding the influx of epithelial cells to help cover a healthy granulation tissue bed.