Joint disease/osteoarthritis is characterized by inflammation within the joint that leads to the production of large quantities of inflammatory enzymes that cause further damage. Often the process of joint disease is characterized by inflammation of the joint capsule followed by progressive destruction of the articular cartilage. These pro-inflammatory enzymes actually delay the body's own natural healing response.
IRAP is a system developed in Europe that stimulates the horse's own white blood cells to produce anti-inflammatory mediators and enzymes to reduce the inflammatory phase of joint disease. Blood is taken from the jugular vein and incubated for 24 hours in special syringes that contain glass beads, which induce the white blood cells to produce and secrete therapeutic proteins during the incubation period. After 24 hours the blood is centrifuged and all red blood cells removed. This leaves a protein rich serum which is then split into individual doses ready for injection into the diseased joint. Typically each collection produces enough serum for between 5-7 injections. It is important to note that the injections are only suitable to treat the horse from which the original blood was collected.
Newmarket Equine now provides the newly updated and improved IRAP II services within the clinic enabling us to manage the process right from the harvesting of the blood to the injecting of the serum.