Autologous blood therapy

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Autologous blood therapy, also known as autologous blood injection or autohemotherapy, comprises certain types of hemotherapy using a person's own blood (auto- + hemo- + therapy). There are several kinds, the original belonging only to traditional medicine, alternative medicine, or quackery, and some newer kinds under investigation. The original, unscientific form is "the immediate intramuscular or subcutaneous reinjection of freshly drawn autologous blood". It was used in the early 20th century, when some physicians believed that it had efficacy and logical mechanism of action; it was abandoned later as advancing science made clear that it lacked those.[1]

The other forms involve some change to the blood before it is reinjected, typically oxygenation, ozonation (ozonated autohemotherapy),[2][3] ultraviolet light exposure, or centrifugation. Forms include platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and autologous conditioned serum (ACS).[4]

It is not impossible that ozonated or UV autohemotherapy may have real efficacy and effectiveness in autoimmune diseases if they are immunomodulatory in some way (such as by interfering with the deranged autoantibodies),[2] but this mechanism of action, if it exists, is not yet well understood,[2] and it is also logical that whatever molecular changes the ozone and UV bring about are unlikely to act specifically on just the desired target molecules—meaning that risks are involved.

There are some dermatologic forms of autohemotherapy that involve centrifugation to convert a person's own blood into various autologous blood products for reinjection. So-called vampire facials are done in the belief that autologous platelet-rich plasma delivered subcutaneously to the skin of the face can somehow improve its health (assuming that the inflammatory response, scarring potential, and infection risk do not outweigh the benefits).[5][6] Besides the poor evidence, a more pressing safety concern about this practice is that it is often done with minimal medical supervision by people not thoroughly trained in infection control.[5] In contrast, so-called "vampire filler" is autologous platelets used as dermal filler in the platelet-rich fibrin matrix method of cosmetic surgery;[7] it is generally not described as autohemotherapy and the FDA-approved machines for it are only approved for use by licensed surgeons.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A Systematic Review of Autohemotherapy as a Treatment for Urticaria and Eczema / Devon D. Brewer, Cureus 6(12): e233. doi:10.7759/cureus.233
  2. ^ a b c Sheikhi, A; Azarbeig, M; Karimi, H (2014), "Autohemotherapy in chronic urticaria: what could be the autoreactive factors and curative mechanisms?", Ann Dermatol: 526–527, doi:10.5021/ad.2014.26.4.526, PMC 4135115, PMID 25143689.
  3. ^ Molinari, F; et al. (2014), "Ozone autohemotherapy induces long-term cerebral metabolic changes in multiple sclerosis patients", Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol, 27 (3): 379–389, doi:10.1177/039463201402700308, PMID 25280029.
  4. ^ Wehling, P; Evans, C; Wehling, J; Maixner, W (August 2017). "Effectiveness of intra-articular therapies in osteoarthritis: a literature review". Therapeutic advances in musculoskeletal disease. 9 (8): 183–196. doi:10.1177/1759720X17712695. PMID 28835778.
  5. ^ a b Jennings, Rebecca (2018-09-14), ""Vampire facials" are massively popular. And — surprise! — potentially dangerous", Vox, retrieved 2018-09-14.
  6. ^ Robertson, Michelle (2018-09-14). "New Mexico officials urge 'vampire facial' spa clients to get HIV tests". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2018-09-15.
  7. ^ Sclafani, AP (2011). "Safety, efficacy, and utility of platelet-rich fibrin matrix in facial plastic surgery". Arch Facial Plast Surg. 13 (4): 247–51. doi:10.1001/archfacial.2011.3. PMID 21339469.