Pilot Clinical Trial on the Use of Intra-articular Platelet Concentrate to Improve Lameness in Dogs with Osteoarthritis

Purpose of Study

The goal of this study is to determine if a single intra-articular joint injection of autologous platelet concentrate processed using a filter-based platelet harvest device can improve lameness and joint pain, as determined by force plate kinetic analysis and visual analog scores of lameness and pain, in dogs with natural-occurring osteoarthritis compared with saline injected controls.


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease affecting joints.  The bones within a moving joint are cushioned by cartilage, a fibrous tissue, and bounded by a sac of fluid called the synovial sac that keeps the joint lubricated and freely moving.  Cells in the cartilage produce both the substances that comprised cartilage as well as the fluid of the synovium.  These cells fail to function in osteoarthritis and that causes the space between the joints to narrow often to the point where bones rub against one another.  The process causes progressively increasing pain and lameness.

Platelets from blood, while well known to be responsible for clotting, also contain a variety of growth factors that have been shown to promote wound healing.  Some studies in humans have shown that platelet therapy may benefit patients with osteoarthritis but studies in the dog are lacking. Platelet therapy involves taking blood from your dog, sequestering the cells in a filter and then flushing them off the filter with a reverse flow of recovery solution that results in a smaller volume and higher concentration of cells than found in whole blood.  This therapeutic option is attractive because the cells come from your own animals therefore adverse immune reactions are unlikely.  Experience in humans and horses have shown this therapy to be safe, we are hoping to prove its effectiveness as treatment for osteoarthritis in dogs.

Inclusion criteria

To qualify for enrollment in this study, dogs must:

  • Have osteoarthritis with clinical lameness in only one leg
  • Weigh >25 lbs
  • Must be between 18 months and 10 years of age

Study Design

  • Initial evaluation to determine patient eligibility, including physical exam, x-rays, blood work and force plate test will be performed.
  • If your dog fulfills all the inclusion criteria, he or she will be randomly assigned to one of two groups; either the control saline group or the C-PET treatment group, and receive the assigned treatment. Both you and the clinican will be unblinded at the 3 month recheck. Dogs that are randomized to the control group will be offered the option of having the C-PET treatment provided at no cost after the first evaluation. 
  • If randomized to the C-PET group, 55 mls of blood will be collected for the procedure.
  • You  will be required to fill out an initial questionnaire, and will take a weekly questionnaire home as well..
  • Follow up evaluation will occur on Day 90.  During this visit, your dog will have the same procedures performed as the initial visit. Dogs in the control group will be given the option to receive C-PET treatment at this time.  The clinical trial will be completed for the dogs who initially received the C-PET treatment or dogs in the control group whose owners opt out of the C-PET treatment.
  • If you elect for your dog that was initially in the control group to receive the C-PET treatment, you will again be required to fill out a weekly questionnaire at home. Follow up evaluation for these dogs will be on Day 180.  The entire process will be repeated as in the previous 2 visits except, this marks the end of the study and no further follow-up is required.

Client Compensation

  • All fees related to recheck visits pertaining to the study such as physical exam, x-rays, and kinetic analysis are covered by the study
  • The initial work up, kinetic analysis, sample collection, and treatment are covered by the study

Client Cost

  • Owner is responsible for any medications their dog may need during the study

Contact Information

Dr. Bertone

Phone: 614-292-7449

Email: alicia [dot] bertone [at] cvm [dot] osu [dot] edu

View the study participation flyer