BACKGROUND The aim of the present controlled clinical study was to compare platelet-rich plasma (PRP) combined with a biodegradable ceramic, porous hydroxyapatite (HA) with a mixture of HA and saline in the treatment of human intrabony defects. METHODS Seventy interproximal intrabony osseous defects in 70 healthy, non-smoking subjects diagnosed with chronic periodontitis were included in this study. Thirty-five subjects each were randomly assigned to either the test group (PRP and HA) or control group (HA with saline). Clinical and radiographic measurements were determined at baseline and the 12-month evaluation. RESULTS When compared to baseline, the 12-month results indicated that, while both treatment modalities resulted in significant changes in all clinical parameters (gingival index, bleeding on probing, probing depth, clinical attachment level, and intrabony defect fill; P <0.001), the test group exhibited statistically significant changes compared to the control sites in probing depth reduction: 4.7 +/- 1.6 mm versus 3.7 +/- 2.0 mm (P <0.05); clinical attachment gain: 3.4 +/- 1.7 mm versus 2.0 +/- 1.2 mm (P <0.001); and vertical relative attachment gain: 70.3% +/- 23.4% versus 45.5% +/- 29.4% (P <0.001). CONCLUSION Treatment with a combination of PRP and HA compared to HA with saline led to a significantly more favorable clinical improvement in intrabony periodontal defects.