Autologous platelet concentrates for treating periodontal infrabony defects

Review question

Does the addition of autologous platelet concentrates (APC) improve surgical treatment outcomes of bone defects in gum disease?

Background

Teeth are maintained in their position by soft and hard tissues (gums and surrounding bone). Gum disease or periodontitis, is an inflammatory condition of all these tissues caused by the bacteria present in the dental plaque. If left untreated, gum disease can cause teeth to loosen and eventually lead to tooth loss. The destruction of jaw bone around teeth (called the alveolar bone) during gum disease, can be horizontal (where the whole level of bone around the root is reduced) or vertical, forming a bone defect within the bone (infrabony defect). There are several available surgical treatments for infrabony defects, including: 1. open flap debridement in which the gum is lifted back surgically in order to clean the deep tartar; 2. bone graft in which a portion of natural or synthetic bone is placed in the area of bone loss; 3. guided tissue regeneration in which a small piece of membrane-like material is placed between the bone and gum tissue in order to keep the gum tissue from growing into the area where the bone should be; and 4. the use of enamel matrix derivative, a gel-like material which is placed in the area where bone loss has occurred and promotes its regeneration. In order to accelerate the healing process, autologous platelet concentrates have been recently used. They are concentrates of the platelets of patient's own blood containing growth factors that are thought to promote tissue regeneration. The aim of this review was to assess if the addition of APC brings any benefits in the treatment of infrabony defects when combined with different surgical treatments.

Study characteristics

Authors from Cochrane Oral Health carried out this review and the evidence is up to date to 27 February 2018. We included 38 studies and a total of 1042 infrabony defects. We considered four different types of surgical treatments and compared each technique with the same one when APC was added. Overall we considered these comparisons: open flap debridement with APC versus without APC; open flap debridement and bone graft with APC versus without APC; guided tissue regeneration with APC versus without APC; and enamel matrix derivative with APC versus without APC.

Key results

There is very low-quality evidence that the addition of APC to two types of treatment: open flap debridement and open flap debridement with bone graft, may bring some advantages in the treatment of infrabony defects. However, for the other two types of treatment, guided tissue regeneration and enamel matrix derivative, there is insufficient evidence of a benefit.

Quality of evidence

We judged the quality of the evidence to be very low due to problems with the design of the studies.

Authors' conclusions: 

There is very low-quality evidence that the adjunct of APC to OFD or OFD + BG when treating infrabony defects may improve probing pocket depth, clinical attachment level, and radiographic bone defect filling. For GTR or EMD, insufficient evidence of an advantage in using APC was observed.

Read the full abstract...
Background: 

Periodontal disease is a condition affecting tooth-supporting tissues (gingiva, alveolar bone, periodontal ligament, and cementum), with the potential of introducing severe adverse effects on oral health. It has a complex pathogenesis which involves the combination of specific micro-organisms and a predisposing host response. Infrabony defects are one of the morphological types of alveolar bone defects that can be observed during periodontitis. Recent approaches for the treatment of infrabony defects, combine advanced surgical techniques with platelet-derived growth factors. These are naturally synthesized polypeptides, acting as mediators for various cellular activities during wound healing. It is believed that the adjunctive use of autologous platelet concentrates to periodontal surgical procedures produces a better and more predictable outcome for the treatment of infrabony defects.

Objectives: 

To assess the effects of autologous platelet concentrates (APC) used as an adjunct to periodontal surgical therapies (open flap debridement (OFD), OFD combined with bone grafting (BG), guided tissue regeneration (GTR), OFD combined with enamel matrix derivative (EMD)) for the treatment of infrabony defects.

Search strategy: 

Cochrane Oral Health's Information Specialist searched the following databases: Cochrane Oral Health's Trials Register (to 27 February 2018); the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; 2018, Issue 1) in the Cochrane Library (searched 27 February 2018); MEDLINE Ovid (1946 to 27 February 2018); Embase Ovid (1980 to 27 February 2018); and LILACS BIREME Virtual Health Library (from 1982 to 27 February 2018). The US National Institutes of Health Ongoing Trials Register (ClinicalTrials.gov) and the World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform were searched for ongoing trials on 27 February 2018. No restrictions were placed on the language or date of publication when searching the electronic databases.

Selection criteria: 

We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of both parallel and split-mouth design, involving patients with infrabony defects requiring surgical treatment. Studies had to compare treatment outcomes of a specific surgical technique combined with APC, with the same technique when used alone.

Data collection and analysis: 

Two review authors independently conducted data extraction and risk of bias assessment, and analysed data following Cochrane methods. The primary outcomes assessed were: change in probing pocket depth (PD), change in clinical attachment level (CAL), and change in radiographic bone defect filling (RBF). We organised all data in four groups, each comparing a specific surgical technique when applied with the adjunct of APC or alone: 1. APC + OFD versus OFD, 2. APC + OFD + BG versus OFD + BG, 3. APC + GTR versus GTR, and 4. APC + EMD versus EMD.

Main results: 

We included 38 RCTs. Twenty-two had a split-mouth design, and 16 had a parallel design. The overall evaluated data included 1402 defects. Two studies were at unclear overall risk of bias, while the remaining 36 studies had a high overall risk of bias.

1. APC + OFD versus OFD alone

Twelve studies were included in this comparison, with a total of 510 infrabony defects. There is evidence of an advantage in using APC globally from split-mouth and parallel studies for all three primary outcomes: PD (mean difference (MD) 1.29 mm, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00 to 1.58 mm; P < 0.001; 12 studies; 510 defects; very low-quality evidence); CAL (MD 1.47 mm, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.82 mm; P < 0.001; 12 studies; 510 defects; very low-quality evidence); and RBF (MD 34.26%, 95% CI 30.07% to 38.46%; P < 0.001; 9 studies; 401 defects; very low-quality evidence).

2. APC + OFD + BG versus OFD + BG

Seventeen studies were included in this comparison, with a total of 569 infrabony defects. Considering all follow-ups, as well as 3 to 6 months and 9 to 12 months, there is evidence of an advantage in using APC from both split-mouth and parallel studies for all three primary outcomes: PD (MD 0.54 mm, 95% CI 0.33 to 0.75 mm; P < 0.001; 17 studies; 569 defects; very low-quality evidence); CAL (MD 0.72 mm, 95% CI 0.43 to 1.00 mm; P < 0.001; 17 studies; 569 defects; very low-quality evidence); and RBF (MD 8.10%, 95% CI 5.26% to 10.94%; P < 0.001; 11 studies; 420 defects; very low-quality evidence).

3. APC + GTR versus GTR alone

Seven studies were included in this comparison, with a total of 248 infrabony defects. Considering all follow-ups, there is probably a benefit for APC for both PD (MD 0.92 mm, 95% CI -0.02 to 1.86 mm; P = 0.05; very low-quality evidence) and CAL (MD 0.42 mm, 95% CI -0.02 to 0.86 mm; P = 0.06; very low-quality evidence). However, given the wide confidence intervals, there might be a possibility of a slight benefit for the control. When considering a 3 to 6 months and a 9 to 12 months follow-up there were no benefits evidenced, except for CAL at 3 to 6 months (MD 0.54 mm, 95% CI 0.18 to 0.89 mm; P = 0.003; 3 studies; 134 defects). No RBF data were available.

4. APC + EMD versus EMD

Two studies were included in this comparison, with a total of 75 infrabony defects. There is insufficient evidence of an overall advantage of using APC for all three primary outcomes: PD (MD 0.13 mm, 95% CI -0.05 to 0.30 mm; P = 0.16; 2 studies; 75 defects; very low-quality evidence), CAL (MD 0.10 mm, 95% CI -0.13 to 0.32 mm; P = 0.40; 2 studies; 75 defects; very low-quality evidence), and RBF (MD -0.60%, 95% CI -6.21% to 5.01%; P = 0.83; 1 study; 49 defects; very low-quality evidence).

All studies in all groups reported a survival rate of 100% for the treated teeth. No complete pocket closure was reported. No quantitative analysis regarding patients' quality of life was possible.

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