Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) and platelet - rich plasma (PRP) are common treatments for soft tissue injuries in horses. Shockwave triggers cell specific responses to healing. Growth factors released from PRP also promote healing.

PRP was produced from blood drawn from six horses. The PRP was then exposed to the following conditions:

1) Positive control (freeze-thaw cycle)

2) Untreated negative control

3) Shockwave from a standard probe - 21mm focal width and medium energy density (ESWT-S)

4) Shockwave from a power probe - 10mm focal width and high energy density (ESWT-P)

ESWT-S and ESWT-P resulted in significantly increased TGF-β1 concentrations, 46 and 33% respectively when compared to the negative control. Both ESWT-S and ESWT-P resulted in significantly increased PDGF-ββ concentrations, 219 and 190% respectively when compared with the negative control.

The data indicates that the application of ESWT to PRP increases the expression of growth factors in vitro. The combination of PRP and ESWT might result in synergism of two modalities utilized individually for treatment of tendon and ligament injuries in horses. 

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