Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment for Lung Disease

A spectrum of chronic lung diseases, including COPD, impact the lives of many, causing debilitating symptoms and often resulting in mortality.

Using PRP for COPD and other lung diseases may help to alleviate symptoms, promote healing, and improve quality of life.

What Is Platelet-Rich Plasma?

Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is a particular form of plasma. To produce PRP, whole blood is drawn and processed through a centrifuge to remove the red blood cells, resulting in plasma rich in platelet cells.

In addition to their essential role in forming blood clots to control bleeding, platelets transport and introduce several growth factors that increase tissue regeneration, aid in wound healing, and promote the growth of new blood vessels.

Rich in these beneficial platelets, PRP is sometimes used to treat orthopedic injuries, including tendon or ligament issues, rotator cuff injuries, ACL injuries, muscle strains, and osteoarthritis. It is also used in certain cosmetic and dental surgeries. Such treatment centers on PRP’s ability to accelerate tissue healing. 

An emerging use of PRP is in treating chronic lung diseases like COPD. There is evidence that PRP may slow the worsening of lung disease and help lung tissue regenerate.


Several studies indicate that PRP may help to treat lung disease, including chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD). COPD is a leading cause of death worldwide and can result from smoking, exposure to tobacco, or genetic causes.

COPD involves two conditions: chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

In chronic bronchitis, excess mucus is produced in the lung’s air passages, resulting in mucus plugging.

Emphysema is the progressive destruction of alveoli, the tiny air sacs in the lungs where the critical exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide occurs.

The healing and regenerative properties of the platelets contained in PRP may benefit diseased lung tissue in those with COPD. Several studies support PRP treatment for lung disease:

  • COPD patients treated with autologous PRP (taken from their own blood) reported some improvement in their symptoms and quality of life. Their lung function also seemed to improve.
  • Victims of smoke inhalation treated with PRP had a shorter hospital stay, improved lung function, and accelerated improvement. Though this study did not deal with COPD directly, the effect of PRP on lung damage seems promising.
  • Another study examined the use of PRP in treating hospitalized patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) caused by COVID-19 infection. PRP appeared to improve the patient’s lung function.

Plasma Treatment for Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency

Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is a genetic form of COPD. In this condition, the body does not make enough of a protein called alpha-1 antitrypsin, which normally helps protect the lungs.

Without enough of this protein, the lungs can become damaged over time, especially the tiny air sacs called alveoli. When these critical structures are destroyed, lung function deteriorates, resulting in emphysema-like symptoms: wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.

Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) can be derived from plasma donated by healthy volunteers, processed, and infused into the blood of those with Alpha-1 deficiency.

This treatment can increase the levels of AAT in the blood, helping to delay or stop lung damage that leads to emphysema.

Consider Plasma Donation at PlasmaSource

Your plasma and platelet donations can help those with chronic conditions, serious injuries, or rare diseases, support disease prevention research, and facilitate the development of vital pharmaceuticals.

We invite you to learn more about how plasma saves lives and contact us to schedule an appointment.