IRAP and PRP belong to the group of treatments referred to as “regenerative medicine” because they use the body’s own reparative abilities to improve the healing of injured structures such as joints and tendons and ligaments. Both preparations are produced from a sterile blood sample obtained from the horse. Therefore, these preparations are natural substances and do not infringe on doping regulations.


IRAP stands for Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein. The sterile blood sample is incubated for only 8 hours in the laboratory at the clinic after which it is centrifuged and the supernatant, containing the acellular fractions desired, is aspirated and frozen in syringes sized for the target joints.  The frozen samples can travel (on ice) with competition horses for immediate use when needed.

The clear supernatant contains, in addition to IRAP, multiple positive growth factors and other positive bioactive factors which can be injected into joints, tendon sheaths and bursae.

IRAP is now Svend’s preferred joint treatment. As an example, the extremely complex navicular syndrome is often treated with a series of IRAP injections directly into both the coffin joint and the navicular bursa in combination with corrective shoeing and a graduated exercise programme. In comparison to steroid medication, the necessary resting period following IRAP treated joints can often be reduced and the horse returned to more intense training at an earlier point. The results using IRAP are very encouraging in most cases and the preparation has no side effects or risks. It is being used primarily in highly trained sports horses to counteract the effect of repetitive trauma associated with training.


PRP stands for Platelet-Rich-Plasma. It can be produced in less than 30 minutes from a sterile blood sample using a simple gravity derived system to produce autologous ultra-concentrated platelets. These are a rich source of positive growth factors and act as biological signalling agents when injected under ultrasound guidance into defects (so called core lesions) in mainly tendons and ligaments.

When injected, growth factors and cytokines from the PRP activate circulation-derived cells, including macrophages and fibroblast-like cells that activate collagen and matric synthesis as well as mesenchymal cells with the potential of differentiating into tenocytes. This enables genuine healing of the structure as opposed to a haphazard repair tissue and therefore a stronger possibility of regaining full function.

PRP is now being used predominantly in lesions involving the flexor tendons and the suspensory apparatus. It is without risks and the results are extremely good.