IRAP (Interluekin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein)
IRAP offers a biologic treatment for some causes of lameness and utilises the body’s own healing mechanisms. This means low risk of side effects and no doping issues with the therapy.
IRAP is based on the production of regenerative and anti-inflammatory proteins by the horses’s own blood cells. Irap® technique involves the retrieval of 50ml of the horse’s own blood using a special collecting syringe containing glass beads. During a 24-hour incubation period, the blood mixes with the beads and is spun in a centrifuge at our laboratory to separate serum from red blood cells.
The serum is then sterilely injected into the affected site. To achieve full effect most horses require 3-4 injections for a first round of treatment. This biological therapy has potential to induce regeneration or stop degeneration.
IRAP therapy can be used for:
- Damage to the articular cartilage of joints
- Suspensory ligament injuries
- Inflamed tendon sheaths
This can be used for the treatment of damaged tendons, joints, bursae and soft tissue injuries.
Platelets circulate in the blood and release a large number of growth factors when they arrive at a site of tissue injury, including platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta), insulin-like growth factors (IGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) that are known to orchestrate the movements of other cells and stimulate the production of repair tissue (extracellular matrix). It is these growth factors that we aim to take advantage of when using PRP.
A sample of blood is taken from the horse, usually from the jugular vein in the neck, and processed to increase the number of platelets it contains. This is done at our laboratory by passing the blood through a filter or by placing it in a centrifuge. As it is the horse’s own biological product it hopefully means low risk of side effects and no doping issues with the therapy.