IRAP II Therapy
The use of Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-Ra) protein is one of the newest developments in the treatment of osteoarthritis. It is produced by withdrawing a sample of the patient’s blood into a syringe containing specially treated Chromium glass beads. During a 24 hour incubation period, the red blood cells interact with the bead’s surface stimulating the production of large quantities of IRAP and other anti-inflammatory proteins and growth factors. The blood is then placed in a high speed centrifuge to separate out the resulting serum which can be injected into a problem joint or frozen for future use.
Osteoarthritis can become a vicious cycle because damaged cartilage cells produce interleukins that incite further inflammation thereby breaking down cartilage even more. IRAP II therapy can inhibit this disease process. IRAP II competes with the degrading force of interleukin-1 (IL-1) for the same receptor sites in the horse’s affected joint; therefore, by adding it into a damaged joint, the less IL-1 will be able to harm your horse. Our veterinarians routinely use this product in young horses with relatively benign synovitis and capsulitis, horses in training with developing osteoarthritis and post-surgically if cartilage loss would otherwise decrease the prognosis for an athlete to return to competition. Used early enough, IRAP II treatment may be as close to a “cure” as veterinarian’s have for some horses, halting the degradative cycle before it spirals out of control.