Thursday
Feb272014

IRAP Therapy

IRAP stands for Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein and it is recommeded for horses suffering from mild to moderate osteoarthritis, inflammation of the joint capsule or synovium, osteochondritis dessecans (OCD) lesions, or following arthroscopic surgery.

IRAP is an alternative to the use of corticosteroids and works by blocking interleukins-1 and 6.  Interleukins are the major molecules responsible for the inflammation and pain associated with arthritis--one of the leading causes of lameness and loss of use in equine athletes.

IRAP is obtained by collecting your horse's blood in a large syringe which contains hundreds of small glass beads.  These beads have been treated to cause amplification of the IRAP.  The blood sample is incubated for 24 hours, then is centrifuged, and the IRAP-rich serum is collected.

The number of treatments can vary but the most common protocol includes three intra-articular injections with a week of interval between treatments.  Extra serum may be frozen for subsequent treatments.  Since IRAP is prepared from the patient's own blood, immune reactions to the treatment are rare.