What is an Ultrasound Guided ABI or PRP Injection?


Autologous Blood Injections (ABI)

Autologous Blood Injections are a procedure that involves the injection of a patient’s own blood into an area of the body to promote healing. It is most commonly used to treat degeneration of tendons (tendonitis, tendinosis, or tendinopathy), which frequently occur in association with small tendon tears. It has also been used to treat disease of fasciae, ligaments, and joints.

Platelet Rich Plasma Injections (PRP)

Platelet Rich Plasma Injections are a variation on ABI, in which a patient’s blood is spun in a centrifuge at high speed to separate the blood into layers containing red cells, white cells, and plasma. The plasma, which is richer in platelets, can be collected and injected into damaged tissues. This theoretically promotes a more potent healing response.

Both of these procedures are performed under ultrasound guidance by a radiologist so that tendon disease and tears may be accurately targeted. A series of injections may be required depending on your injury.

Treatment Eligibility

ABI cannot be performed on patients with bleeding disorders or those taking anti-coagulants (eg. Warfarin or Clopidogrel). It should not be performed in other blood disorders, such as leukaemia, where tumour cells may be present in the blood, or where platelet levels are low. ABI is also not recommended in certain cases of tendon tearing, where surgery may be more appropriate.

ABI or PRP Injection

What happens during an ABI or PRP Injection?

A. Before your scan

What to bring

  • Your request form
  • Any relevant previous imaging
  • Your Medicare card and any concession cards

Preparation – the week of the procedure

If you take Warfarin, Aspirin, Plavix, or other blood thinning agents, please notify the booking staff as you may be required to cease the medication, or have blood tests prior to the procedure. The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications may reduce the effectiveness of this treatment, and it is strongly advised that these medications be ceased 10 days before and after your ABI/PRP injection.

Preparation – the day of your procedure

An assessment of the affected region will be made by the radiologist prior to the injection. Using sterile equipment, approximately 5mls of blood is first taken from veins around the elbow for ABI, and around 25mls for PRP injection. If PRP injection is being performed the blood will be transferred to a specialised tube to be centrifuged, which will take around 15 minutes.

B. During your ABI or PRP Injection


The skin at the injection site is cleansed and prepared and local anaesthetic may then injected. Blood withdrawn from one of the arm veins is then injected directly into the tendon using a fine needle. Ultrasound guidance is used to ensure precise placement. Once the needle is withdrawn, a dressing is applied to the injection site.  ABI and PRP injections take about 5 minutes.

Risks and Side Effects

Complications are uncommon during these procedures, however, you need to be informed of the possible side effects and associated risks.

  • Pain, bruising, temporary numbness, tingling or discomfort at the injection site
  • Infection is very rare but may involve redness or swelling and increasing pain after 48 hours. Increasing pain should be promptly reported to us and your referring doctor
  • Any medical procedure potentially can be associated with unpredictable risks.

Do not hesitate to contact our office on 6382 3888 if you have any questions or concerns.

Who will perform my ABI or PRP Injection?

Your ultrasound guided injection will be performed by a Radiologist (medical specialist).

ABI or PRP Ultrasound Guided injections

What happens after ABI or PRP Ultrasound Guided injections?

Post-procedural Information

Some swelling or discomfort is common in the first few days after your injection. You may use an icepack or paracetemol to avoid discomfort.

The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications may reduce the effectiveness of this treatment, and it is strongly advised that these medications be ceased 10 days before and after your ABI/PRP injection.

It is advisable to rest the affected region for around 2 days after your injection, before recommencing daily activities.

Light training or work activity may commence after the first week, along with a rehabilitation programme which should be supervised by your referring doctor or physiotherapist.

ABI or PRP Ultrasound Guided injections

Download an Information and Consent Form