Hyaluronic Acid and Platelet-Rich Plasma, a New Therapeutic Alternative for Scleroderma Patients

A Prospective Open-Label Study

Roberto Pirrello; Barbara Verro; Giulia Grasso; Piero Ruscitti; Adriana Cordova; Roberto Giacomelli; Francesco Ciccia; Giuliana Guggino


Arthritis Res Ther. 2019;21(286) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: Systemic sclerosis is a systemic connective tissue disease characterized by endothelium damage, fibrosis, and subsequent atrophy of the skin. Perioral fibrosis produces a characteristic microstomia together with microcheilia, both of which cause severe difficulties and affects patients' daily life, such as eating and oral hygiene. Since there are no effective and specific therapies, we have aimed at evaluating the response to filler injections of hyaluronic acid together with platelet-rich plasma.

Methods: Ten female patients aged between 18 and 70 were included in this study. Each patient was treated with three filler injections of hyaluronic acid and platelet-rich plasma at an interval of 15 to 20 days. Follow-up check-ups were recorded 1, 3, and 24 months after the end of the treatment. During the therapy and the subsequent follow-up, we evaluated the mouth's opening, freedom of movement of the lips, and skin elasticity.

Results: After the treatment, patients had achieved good results already after the first injection and the improvement was maintained in the following months, up to 2 years. In particular, 8 (80%) patients showed a greater mouth's opening and increased upper lip's thickness during 1-month follow-up and maintained these results after 2 years (maximum mouth's opening T0 47.61; T3 49.23; T4 48.60 p < 0.0001. Upper lip's thickness T0 4.20; T3 4.75; T4 4.45 p < 0.0001). Moreover, distance between upper and lower incisors (T0 27.05; T3 29.03; T4 28.14 p < 0.0001), inter-commissural distance (T0 49.12; T3 51.44; T4 50.31: p < 0.0001), and lower lip's thickness (T0 3.80; T3 4.85, 5.10; T4 4.25; p < 0.0001) were increased in all of patients in 1-month follow-up, keeping these benefits after 24 months and having a significant increase of skin elasticity 1 month after the end of therapy.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that filler injections of hyaluronic acid and platelet-rich plasma represent an efficient local therapeutic alternative for patients affected by scleroderma. The treatment has significantly improved patients' quality of living.