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Research published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology found that autologous platelet-rich plasma (PRP) preparations containing CD34+ cells might be an effective treatment for male and female pattern hair loss.[1]


Autologous PRP (concentrated blood plasma and growth factors obtained from a patient’s own blood) has been shown to improve blood vessel growth around hair follicles.[2],[3] Researchers have suggested that this is one of the ways PRP can promote hair growth.[4]

CD34+ cells are also known to promote new blood vessel growth. These cells are typically found in bone marrow, but are also found in the body’s circulating blood, having migrated from the bone marrow. Since the CD34+ cells in circulating blood occur in such low amounts, and because they age after migrating from the marrow, they usually lose much of their ability to create new blood vessels.[5],[6]

Because PRP preparations only contain CD34+ cells from the body’s circulating blood supply, researchers tested the idea that adding bone marrow-derived CD34+ cells to PRP preparations might improve the efficacy of PRP as a treatment for genetic hair loss.[1]


PRP preparations containing CD34+ cells were found to grow significantly more hair with greater thickness at up to six months after treatment. There were no major side effects of the treatment.

The researchers suggest bone marrow-derived CD34+ cells have a synergistic effect on PRP’s ability to form new blood vessels, and this is what might explain the effects on hair growth. This results suggest that the PRP/CD34+ preparation had a positive therapeutic effect on pattern baldness in both men and women.


  1. Kang JS1, Zheng Z, Choi MJ, Lee SH, Kim DY, Cho SB. The effect of CD34+ cell-containing autologous platelet-rich plasma injection on pattern hair loss: a preliminary study. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2012 Jan;28(1):72-9 []
  2. Takikawa M, Nakamura S, Nakamura S et al. Enhanced effect of platelet-rich plasma containing a new carrier on hair growth. Dermatol Surg 2011; 37: 1721–1729 []
  3. Li W, Enomoto M, Ukegawa M et al. Subcutaneous injections of platelet-rich plasma into skin flaps modulate proangiogenic gene expression and improve survival rates. Plast Reconstr Surg 2012; 129: 858–866 []
  4. Mecklenburg L, Tobin DJ, Mu¨ller-Ro¨ver S et al. Active hair growth (anagen) is associated with angiogenesis. J Invest Dermatol 2000; 114: 909–916 []
  5. Mackie AR, Klyachko E, Thorne T et al. Sonic hedgehog-modified human CD34+ cells preserve cardiac function after acute myocardial infarction. Circ Res 2012; 111: 312–321 []
  6. Jujo K, Ii M, Losordo DW. Endothelial progenitor cells in neovascularization of infarcted myocardium. J Mol Cell Cardiol 2008; 45: 530–544 []

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