This document replaces previous guidance on autologous blood injection for tendinopathy (interventional procedure guidance 279).
1.1 The evidence on autologous blood injection for tendinopathy raises no major safety concerns. The evidence on efficacy remains inadequate, with few studies available that use appropriate comparators. Therefore, this procedure should only be used with special arrangements for clinical governance, consent and audit or research.
1.2 Clinicians wishing to undertake autologous blood injection for tendinopathy should take the following actions.
Inform the clinical governance leads in their Trusts.
Ensure that patients understand the uncertainty about the procedure's efficacy (especially in the long term), make them aware of alternative treatments and provide them with clear written information. In addition, use of NICE's information for the public is recommended.
Audit and review clinical outcomes of all patients having autologous blood injection for tendinopathy (see section 3.1).
1.3 NICE encourages further research comparing autologous blood injections (with or without techniques to produce platelet-rich plasma) against established non-surgical methods for managing tendinopathy. Trials should clearly describe patient selection (including the site of tendinopathy, duration of symptoms and any prior treatments) and document whether a 'dry needling' technique is used. Outcomes should include specific measures of pain, quality of life and function, and whether subsequent surgical intervention is needed.