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Cryolipolysis has been considered as a noninvasive alternative to surgical procedures for reducing subcutaneous fat without affecting the surrounding tissues. However, no clinical trial has investigated changes in the abdominal fat tissue by 12 weeks after cryolipolysis. Therefore, in this split-body trial, we explored whether a single session of unilateral cryolipolysis could change visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue over a period of 12 weeks. We compared the cross-sectional areas of the abdominal adipose tissue of 15 subjects (9 women; 38.3 [10.8] years) by computed tomography before and at 12 weeks after a single treatment of cryolipolysis to the left abdomen and used the right abdomen as untreated control. In addition, we measured participants’ waist circumference, percentage of body fat (by bioelectrical impedance analysis) at baseline and at 6- and 12-weeks post-treatment. Single unilateral cryolipolysis tended to reduce the cross-sectional areas of visceral adipose tissue, by 8.4 cm ² (9.9%), the waist circumferences, and the percent body fat, by 2.8 cm ² (0.6%), overall. The cross-sectional area of visceral adipose tissues on the treated side significantly decreased, by 6.8 cm ² (15.6%; P = 0.003), and that of the untreated side tended to decrease by 1.2 cm ² (3.6%). Thus, a single unilateral session of noninvasive selective cryolipolysis can be considered as a safe and effective treatment for reduction of visceral adipose tissue over a period of 12 weeks, which should result in metabolic improvement.
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RESEARCH ARTICLE
Cryolipolysis-induced abdominal fat change:
Split-body trials
In Cheol Hwang, Kyoung Kon Kim
, Kyu Rae LeeID*
Family Medicine, Gachon University, Incheon, Korea
‡ Co-authored as a first author.
*baria07@daum.net
Abstract
Cryolipolysis has been considered as a noninvasive alternative to surgical procedures for
reducing subcutaneous fat without affecting the surrounding tissues. However, no clinical
trial has investigated changes in the abdominal fat tissue by 12 weeks after cryolipolysis.
Therefore, in this split-body trial, we explored whether a single session of unilateral cryolipo-
lysis could change visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue over a period of 12 weeks. We
compared the cross-sectional areas of the abdominal adipose tissue of 15 subjects (9
women; 38.3 [10.8] years) by computed tomography before and at 12 weeks after a single
treatment of cryolipolysis to the left abdomen and used the right abdomen as untreated con-
trol. In addition, we measured participants’ waist circumference, percentage of body fat (by
bioelectrical impedance analysis) at baseline and at 6- and 12-weeks post-treatment. Single
unilateral cryolipolysis tended to reduce the cross-sectional areas of visceral adipose tissue,
by 8.4 cm
2
(9.9%), the waist circumferences, and the percent body fat, by 2.8 cm
2
(0.6%),
overall. The cross-sectional area of visceral adipose tissues on the treated side significantly
decreased, by 6.8 cm
2
(15.6%; P = 0.003), and that of the untreated side tended to decrease
by 1.2 cm
2
(3.6%). Thus, a single unilateral session of noninvasive selective cryolipolysis
can be considered as a safe and effective treatment for reduction of visceral adipose tissue
over a period of 12 weeks, which should result in metabolic improvement.
Introduction
Visceral obesity has been recognized as a major culprit to metabolic disorders such as insulin
resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome. Visceral adipose tissue (VAT) is
considered as a major risk fat depot [1]. VAT, subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) vary in qual-
ity are considered even greater cardiometabolic risk variables than body mass index (BMI) [2,
3].
Previous studies have shown that liposuction does not improve coronary metabolic risk in
individuals with abdominal obesity [4]. Surgical approaches such as liposuction and lipectomy
focus on removal of SAT, rather than VAT [5] and pose risks of infection, bleeding, and post-
operative scarring [6]. In addition, operative procedures have some disadvantages, such as
high cost, longer recovery, and postoperative complications, and even mortalities, without
providing metabolic benefit [4].
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OPEN ACCESS
Citation: Hwang IC, Kim KK, Lee KR (2020)
Cryolipolysis-induced abdominal fat change: Split-
body trials. PLoS ONE 15(12): e0242782. https://
doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0242782
Editor: Stephen L. Atkin, Weill Cornell Medical
College Qatar, QATAR
Received: March 10, 2020
Accepted: September 15, 2020
Published: December 29, 2020
Peer Review History: PLOS recognizes the
benefits of transparency in the peer review
process; therefore, we enable the publication of
all of the content of peer review and author
responses alongside final, published articles. The
editorial history of this article is available here:
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0242782
Copyright: ©2020 Hwang et al. This is an open
access article distributed under the terms of the
Creative Commons Attribution License, which
permits unrestricted use, distribution, and
reproduction in any medium, provided the original
author and source are credited.
Data Availability Statement: All relevant data are
within its Supporting Information files.
Funding: This study was fully supported by a grant
from the Gachon University research fund of 2018.
(GCU-2018-5258). The funding agency had no role
in study design, data collection and analysis,
Since FDA approval in 2010, cryolipolysis has been considered as a noninvasive alternative
to surgical procedure for reducing subcutaneous fat without affecting the surrounding tissues
[79].
This procedure causes apoptotic fat cell death and reduces the thickness of the subcutane-
ous fat. When used for the reduction of subcutaneous adnominal fat, it is not associated with
changes in serum lipids or liver test results [10,11].
There is evidence that adipose tissue is selectively sensitive to cold injury, for instance,
“popsicle panniculitis,” where cytoplasmic lipids in adipocytes crystalize at temperatures well
above the freezing point of tissue water. Manstein et al. first reported that black Yucatan pigs
showed grossly visible loss of 3.5-mm thickness of subcutaneous fat after cold-induced tissue
injury [12]. A single cycle of cryolipolysis to cold resulted in macrophage recruitment over a
period of 2 weeks, which peaked at 4 weeks, and disappeared by about 12 weeks after treat-
ment. Panniculitis may further augment the damage to adipocytes in the early period and sub-
sequent loss of fat [13].
Selective cryolipolysis has been introduced as an effective method for treating local fat and
SAT in human clinical trials to date. The clinical efficacy of cryolipolysis has been evaluated by
comparing photographs or by measuring superficial fat thickness with sonography after treat-
ment, but its role in the VAT and SAT fields has not been elucidated to date.
Therefore, we here evaluated the clinical efficacy and safety of cryolipolysis for reducing
body fat, and waist and abdominal adipose tissue (VAT and SAT) after unilateral cryolipolysis
treatment of the left abdomen in a split-body trial method in healthy Koreans over a 12-week
period.
Material and methods
The institutional review board of Gachon University approved the study protocol
(GCIRB2018-320, September 11, 2018) and all participants provided written consent. This
study was registered at cris.nih.go.kr (number KCT0003647).
Subjects
We used G-power software to determine the sample size to obtain an effector size of 1 with
power (1-beta error probability), 2-tailed, α= 0.05, non-centrality parameter δ= 3.9088201,
critical t = 2.1408635, degree of freedom = 14.2788745. A total sample size of 16 was required
[14]. Consequently, we enrolled 19 subjects through indoor bulletins and street flyers between
September 12 and November 20, 2018 and informed them of the study protocol before the
trial.
We included healthy men or women without clinical conditions, with BMI 20 kg/m
2
,
and those without a change of more than 5% of their weight over the previous 6 months.
Those who had a history of cold-related diseases, such as cryoglobulinemia and cold hemogo-
bulinemia, metabolic abnormalities, such as diabetes, dyslipidemia, or thyroid disease, or had
used any medication to regulate weight over the previous 6 months were excluded. In addition,
we did not include pregnant or lactating women.
As it is not possible select cases matched in terms of body composition (VAT, SAT, body
fat), we performed sequential split-body trials were performed to compare the effect of cryoli-
polysis by examining cross-sectional areas of adipose tissues. We assessed the height and
weight of participants using a digital portable standiometer (DS-102, Jenix, Seoul, Korea), and
determined their percentage of body fat by bioelectrical impedance analysis (Biospace, Seoul,
Korea). Waist circumference was measured at the anterior superior iliac spine level at baseline,
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decision to publish, or preparation of the
manuscript.
Competing interests: No authors have competing
interests
and at 6 and 12 weeks after treatment [15]. All procedures were performed between November
27, 2018, and February 28, 2019, after overnight fasting.
The template for the CONSORT flow diagram is shown in Fig 1.
Cryolipolysis
A new cryolipolysis machine (Cryo-Elsa, Huons Co., Ltd., Seongnam, Korea) was approved by
the Korean FDA in 2017. The device consists of a 473 ×756 ×1200-mm-sized control unit
(main body), gel pack, and two vacuum applicators, which are lined to maintain a low temper-
ature of the skin, and alternatively cool and massage the skin in the targeted area. It applies
evenly controlled chilling of the adipose tissue through the skin. The applicator head uses a
mild vacuum to retain the tissue between two cooling plates within the cup for 1 hour to
destroy the fat cells.
Precisely controlled cooling was applied to the left abdomen and the corresponding area in
the back, with one vacuum applicator placed at the umbilicus level, by the same operator in all
participants. The right abdomen was not treated, as control. We performed a single treatment
at the left abdomen, at –7˚C for 60 minutes, as previously reported [9].
Computed tomography
We compared the cross-sectional areas of VAT and SAT between the treatment (left) and con-
trol (right) abdomen by computed tomography (CT) at the first lumbar vertebra level, both at
pretreatment baseline and at 12 weeks after treatment. We used fat Pointer software to calcu-
late the area of tissue with a CT value corresponding to visceral fat (red color) and subcutane-
ous fat (blue color) regions on abdominal CT images (Spuria, Hitachi, Tokyo, Japan).
Lifestyle evaluations
We instructed all participants to maintain their behavioral lifestyle, such as meal patterns and
activity levels, as usual during the trial. They submitted 4-day food diaries to the study nutri-
tionist at the 6th and 12th week visits. We calculated their food intake from these diaries using
Can-pro software (Korea Nutrition Society).
Adverse events
We monitored the safety of the treatment through documentation of adverse events and clini-
cal assessment of the treatment sites for symptoms such as numbness [16], pain, erythema,
abnormal hyperplasia, and any persistent dermatological findings by interview at the 6- and
12-week visits.
Statistical analysis. We performed the Wilcoxon signed-rank test (matched pairs) to
assess differences in waist circumference, body fat percentage, the areas of VAT and SAT, and
the visceral-to-subcutaneous fat ratio (VS ratio) between baseline and 12 weeks. SPSS for Win-
dows (version 18; SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) was used for statistical analysis. Two tailed p-
values <0.05 were considered to indicate statistical significance.
Results
Basic characteristics
Of the 19 subjects, 6 were women. Two subjects withdrew from the study and 2 subjects were
lost to follow-up; thus, 15 subjects completed the study (mean age: 38.31 ±10.84 years; mean
BMI: 25.64 ±2.76 kg/m
2
) completed the study. With these 15 subjects, the power (1 - βerror
probability) was calculated to be exceed 0.93.
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Fig 1. Participant flow chart.
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Single session unilateral cryolipolysis decreased VAT with metabolic improvement over 12 weeks
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The characteristics of the 15 subjects are shown in Table 1. There were no significant statis-
tical differences in weight (p = 0.637) or BMI (p = 0.700) between the baseline and 12-week
visits. There were also no statistically significant differences in the percentage body fat
(p = 0.609) or the waist circumference (p = 0.294) between the baseline and 12-week visits
(Table 1).
Effect of cryolipolysis
The cross-sectional area of the VAT overall showed a tendency to decrease, by 9.9%
(p = 0.057), while that of the SAT overall increased non-significantly, by 0.7% (p = 0.820) over
the 12-weeks period after a single cryolipolysis session (Figs 2and 3).
Table 1. Change of anthropometric, waist, and cross-sectional areas of adipose tissue.
Initial visit 6-week visit 12-week visit P-value (Initial–12-week)
Weight (kg) 69.88 (9.37) 70.52 (9.27) 69.49 (9.34) 0.637
BMI (kg/m
2
) 25.64 (2.76) 25.87 (2.75) 25.47 (2.53) 0.700
Waist Circumference (cm) 91.18 (7.87) 90.80 (7.81) 88.52 (10.66) 0.294
Waist-to-Hip Ratio 0.91 (0.04) 0.92 (0.05) 0.91 (0.05) 0.859
Percentage of body fat (%) 33.43 (5.83) 33.29 (5.92) 32.79 (5.65) 0.187
Cross-sectional Areas of Visceral Fat (cm
2
) 84.31 (33.60) - 75.94 (34.65) 0.057
Cross-sectional Areas of Subcutaneous Fat (cm
2
) 216.35 (68.79) - 217.95 (69.01) 0.820
Visceral-to-Subcutaneous Fat Ratio 0.42 (0.19) - 0.37 (0.18) 0.078
Visceral-to-Total Fat Ratio 0.29 (0.09) - 0.26 (0.09) 0.061
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Fig 2. The cross-sectional areas of overall visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissues at the initial visit.
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Single session unilateral cryolipolysis decreased VAT with metabolic improvement over 12 weeks
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The cross-sectional area of VAT in the treated left abdomen decreased highly significantly,
by 15.6% (6.8 cm
2
), from 43.53 ±17.55 cm
2
to 36.67 ±18.08 cm
2
(p = 0.003), while that of the
untreated right abdomen decrease non-significantly, from 40.74 ±16.47 cm
2
to 39.18 ±17.02
cm
2
(p = 0.281). The cross-sectional area of SAT in the treated left abdomen changed non-sig-
nificantly from 107.49 ±35.54 cm
2
to 109.04 ±34.44 cm
2
(p = 0.733), and that of the control
right abdomen changed non-significantly from 108.47. ±33.85 cm
2
to 108.93. ±34.83 cm
2
(p = 0.865) (Fig 4).
Moreover, the single-session cryolipolysis tended to decrease the VS ratio from 0.419 ±0.19
to 0.37 ±0.18 in (p = 0.078), and the visceral-to-total fat ratio from 0.28 ±0.09 to 0.26 ±0.09
(p = 0.061) over the 12-week period (Fig 5).
According to daily food intake, as assessed from food diaries, there was no statistical differ-
ence in the mean calculated calories at the initial, 6-week, and 12-week visits (1300–1576 kcal/
day). Transient minor adverse events, such as pain, numbness, and transient bruising, were
noted within a week, but no permanent consequences were noted.
Discussion
As no clinical trial to date has investigated the change in abdominal fat tissue after cryolipoly-
sis, we here explored if a single-session of unilateral cryolipolysis could change VAT and SAT
over a period of 12 weeks, in a split-body trial. We showed that the cross-sectional area of the
VAT in the treatment side of the abdomen decreased significantly, by 6.8 cm
2
(15.6%;
P = 0.003), while that of the untreated side showed a decrease of 1.2 cm
2
(3.6%). Moreover, no
paradoxical adipose hyperplasia, which has been reported previously [17], was noted, indicat-
ing the safety of the procedure.
Fig 3. The cross-sectional areas of overall visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissues at the 12-week visit.
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Single session unilateral cryolipolysis decreased VAT with metabolic improvement over 12 weeks
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VAT is a hormonally active element of body fat, which possesses distinctive biochemical
characteristics related to metabolically pathological processes in humans. Excessive VAT has
been associated with coronary artery disease, insulin resistance, diabetes, and hypertension
[18]. The quantitative measurement of VAT is pivotal for evaluating the potential risk for the
development of these pathologies, as well as to inform accurate prognosis [19]. In addition, a
previous clinical trial had shown reduction of superficial fat through sonographic devices, pho-
tographic appraisal, and caliper measurement [20]. A previous descriptive study of 170 Asian
cases reported a 5.3 (1.7) mm (23.2%) reduction in fat thickness by high-resolution ultrasonog-
raphy after cryolipolysis to the abdomen [21]. In addition, sonographic evaluation of intra-
abdominal adipose tissue yields a coefficient of variation of 64%; therefore, a previous paper
did not recommend ultrasound for the assessment of VAT [22]. Thus, CT is considered the
Fig 5. Comparison of the visceral-to-subcutaneous fat ratio and visceral-to-total fat ratio.
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Fig 4. Change in cross-sectional areas of left visceral adipose tissues.
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gold standard for quantitative measurement of the cross-sectional areas of intra-abdominal
adipose tissue.
A previous study reported that a single session of both lateral cryolipolysis to the abdomen
over both “love handles” showed a significant reduction in VAT, by 16.2 cm
2
(11.4%), over a
period of 8 weeks [23]. This was comparable to our findings of a 15.64% reduction VAT cross-
sectional area on the treated abdomen compared to that in the control abdomen (1.2 cm
2
,
3.6%). The markers for central fat, such as percentage of body fat and waist circumference,
tended to decrease because the single treatment significantly reduced the cross-sectional areas
of VAT on the treated side of the abdomen. Nevertheless, the clinical effect of cryolipolysis was
less effective than that of liposuction in terms of total fat reduction. Although the difference
did not reach statistical significance, the cryolipolysis used here might still be effective in
reducing central adiposity (waist circumference) and percent of body fat.
The visceral-to-subcutaneous adipose tissue ratio (VS ratio) is correlated with cardio-meta-
bolic risk, more so than BMI. The susceptibility to store fat viscerally versus subcutaneously
may be a distinctive risk factor, independent of the absolute fat amount [24]. The VS ratio has
been considered to be one of the markers of metabolic derangement in cardiovascular diseases.
Liposuction has led to metabolic worsening, such as an increase in the VS ratio (0.50 [1713/
3414] to 0.89 [1673/1895]) in the normal glucose tolerance group, even in the type 2 diabetes
mellitus group (0.69 [2653/3803] to 0.88 [2425/2751]). Because liposuction decreases subcuta-
neous adipose tissues by 28–44%, large-volume abdominal liposuction did not demonstrate
significant improvement in obesity-related metabolic risk variables [25]. In contrast, single
unilateral treatment by cryolipolysis significantly decreased the visceral fat of the treated abdo-
men and thereby tended to decrease the VS ratio (0.42 [84.3/216.4] to 0.37 [75.9/217.9]) in
apparently healthy normal subjects in this study. Thus, the single unilateral session of cryolipo-
lysis tended to improve the VS ratio over large-volume liposuction over a 12-week period. A
recent clinical trial was performed to represent visual imaging outcomes related to metabolic
changes in SAT through direct optical spectroscopic imaging after cryolipolysis [26].
A recent study in swines demonstrated that cold (-4.8˚C; 2-cm depth) icy slurry injection
induced direct damage to adipocytes by lipid crystallization [27]. Another animal experiment
showed that cold-induced tissue remodeling is more evident in VAT than SAT, which is char-
acterized by a scarcity of inflammatory macrophages, implicating inflammatory cells in the
process [28]. Visceral adiposity correlated strongly with insulin resistance and metabolic
derangement. The previous experiment showed induction of adipocyte macrophage M2 and
adipogenic progenitors, which alleviate meta-inflammation, in the VAT, by cold. In addition,
another in vivo study demonstrated strong induction of the mRNA of the VAT-derived serine
protease inhibitor (vaspin) mRNA in brown adipose tissue of cold-exposed mice [29]. There-
fore, cooling may reduce deep adipose tissue, such as VAT, and cold-induced sympathetic
stimulation of VAT in recruited adipocyte M2 macrophages and alleviated chronic meta-
inflammation, while inducing tissue remodeling and rare adipose tissue browning in mice. In
addition, another clinical human cadaver study in Siberia showed a higher percentage of
brown-like adipocytes, with more intense UCP 1 immuno-reactive cells in visceral fat [30].
However, it remains to be clarified whether cold exposure of VAT would result in the same
metabolic remodeling in living humans; hence, large-scale controlled human clinical trials
should be considered in future.
This study had several limitations. Histologic studies would be better to prove chemical
reactions, such as [popsicle panniculitis, in the 12-week period. Second, a larger clinical trial,
using parametric paired t-tests, would be necessary to produce more powerful and reliable sta-
tistics. Third, uniform demographic participants, such as individuals of the same sex or age
would help to determine the effectiveness of the cooling method in the sub-populations.
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Single session unilateral cryolipolysis decreased VAT with metabolic improvement over 12 weeks
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Fourth, we did not measure metabolic chemical profiles, such as adipocytokines, interleukin,
and vaspin, which are metabolic risk factors.
Conclusions
In conclusion, a single, unilateral, noninvasive, selective cryolipolysis session could be consid-
ered as a safe and effective treatment for the reduction of VAT with metabolic improvement.
Supporting information
S1 Checklist. TREND statement checklist.
(PDF)
S1 File. Research proposal.
(PDF)
S2 File.
(XLSX)
Author Contributions
Conceptualization: Kyu Rae Lee.
Data curation: Kyoung Kon Kim, Kyu Rae Lee.
Formal analysis: Kyu Rae Lee.
Funding acquisition: Kyu Rae Lee.
Investigation: Kyu Rae Lee.
Methodology: Kyu Rae Lee.
Project administration: Kyu Rae Lee.
Resources: Kyu Rae Lee.
Software: Kyu Rae Lee.
Supervision: In Cheol Hwang, Kyu Rae Lee.
Validation: Kyu Rae Lee.
Visualization: Kyu Rae Lee.
Writing – original draft: Kyu Rae Lee.
Writing – review & editing: In Cheol Hwang, Kyu Rae Lee.
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... McKeow & Payne, 22 the mean reduction in localized abdominal fat seemed to be substantially greater than those reported in a systematic review of previous studies. 24 Hwang et al. 25 assessed the effect of a single session of cryolipolysis on visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue over a period of 12 weeks. The results of this study showed a reduction in visceral adipose tissue, waist circumferences, and the proportion of body fat. ...
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The desire to reduce and remodel undesirable fatty deposits has increased the popularity and use of aesthetic procedures, among them, cryolipolysis. However, repercussions on the autonomic nervous system must be considered, since the decrease in cutaneous body temperature can have repercussions on sympathetic and parasympathetic components. The aim was to evaluate the behavior of cardiac autonomic modulation during and after a single application of cryolipolysis. A single-arm, prospective interventional study evaluated data from 13 women with a mean age of 22.38 ± 2.95 years, who had an accumulation of abdominal fat of at least 1.5 mm, were using oral contraceptives, and were sedentary. A professional applied cryolipolysis in a single 40-min session. RR intervals were collected by means of a cardiofrequency meter, at rest prior to the technique for 10 min, during the performance of the technique, and immediately after the end of the technique for a period of 50 min. Heart rate variability (HRV) analysis was performed using time, frequency, and Poincaré plot indices. For the mean RR, SDNN, rMSSD, SD1, SD2, and LF [ms2] indices, the values increased during the execution of cryolipolysis when compared to rest. In the recovery period, increases in the mean values of the RR, SDNN, rMSSD, SD1, SD2, HF [ms2], LF [nu], and HF [nu] indices were also observed when compared to the baseline moment. Both during the technique and in the recovery period, there were changes in the behavior of HRV characterized by an increase in global and vagal indices. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE IV: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors www.springer.com/00266 .
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Introduction Nowadays, liposuction is the most frequently performed aesthetic surgery procedure in Western Countries. This technique has had rapid development since the 1970s, when it was experimented for the first time by A. and G. Fischer. It is currently widely used in clinical practice for many different situations in aesthetic, reconstructive and functional fields. Materials and methods This review aims to describe the historical evolution of liposuction by analyzing the transformation of the method in function of the introduction of innovative ideas or instruments. We have also focused on reporting the major clinical applications of this surgical technique, applicable to almost the entire body surface. We finally analyzed the complications, both major and minor, associated with this surgical technique. Results Liposuction is mainly used to correct deep and superficial fat accumulations and remodel the body contour. It has become an essential complementary technique to enhance the aesthetic result of many other aesthetic procedures such as reduction mammoplasty, abdominoplasty, brachioplasty, thigh lift and post bariatric body contouring. However, it can be largely used for the treatment of innumerable pathologies in reconstructive surgery such as lipomas, lipedema, lipodystrophies, pneudogynecomastia and gynecomastia, macromastia e gigantomastia, lymphedema and many others. The complication rate is very low, especially when compared with conventional excisional surgery and the major, complications are generally associated with improper performance of the technique and poor patient management before and after surgery. Conclusion Liposuction is a safe, simple and effective method of body contouring. It has enormous potential for its application in ablative and reconstructive surgery, far from the most common aesthetic processes with a very low complication rate.
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Background: Cryolipolysis is a non-invasive method for removal of subcutaneous fat for body contouring. Conventional cryolipolysis with topical cooling requires extracting heat from subcutaneous fat by conduction across the skin, thus limiting the amount and the location of the fat removed. We hypothesized that local injection of a physiologic ice slurry directly into target adipose tissue would lead to more efficient and effective cryolipolysis. Methods: Injectable slurries containing 20% and 40% ice content were made using common parenteral agents (normal saline and glycerol), then locally injected into the subcutaneous fat of swine. Ultrasound imaging, photography, histological and gross tissue responses were monitored before and periodically up to 8 weeks after injection. Results: Fat loss occurred gradually over several weeks following a single ice slurry injection. There was an obvious and significant 55 ± 6% reduction in adipose tissue thickness compared to control sites injected with the same volume of melted slurry (p<0.001, Student's t test). The amount of fat loss correlated with the total volume of ice injected. There was no scarring or damage to surrounding tissue. Conclusions: Physiological ice slurry injection is a promising new strategy for selective and nonsurgical fat removal.
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Many deleterious consequences for health of excessive fat accumulation are due to visceral fat. Browning of visceral fat is mainly cold dependent and has been proposed as a possible tool for future therapies of obesity and related disorders. In this paper, we studied the composition of mediastinal and perirenal visceral fat, collected at necropsy, of human adults that lived in Siberia, one of the coldest regions of the earth. Data showed that a consistent part of the mediastinal and perirenal fat (up to about 40%) had the morphology typical of brown adipocytes and that a relevant percentage of them (up to about 30%) also expressed the functional marker uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1). Patients living mainly outdoor had higher percentage of brown-like adipocytes with more intensely UCP1 immunoreactive cells. The presence of numerous UCP1 immunoreactive paucilocular cells, a transitional stage of transdifferentiating adipocytes, supports the idea that visceral fat can be converted to brown adipose tissue in adult humans in physiological conditions. Tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive noradrenergic parenchymal nerve fibers were positively correlated to the number of multilocular adipocytes in mediastinal fat, and a similar trend was also observed in the perirenal fat.
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-Visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue (VAT and SAT) vary in volume and quality. We evaluated whether fat volume or attenuation (indirect measure of quality) predicts metabolic risk factor changes. -Framingham Heart Study Multi-detector Computed Tomography Substudy participants (n=1730, 45% women) were followed over a mean of 6.2 years. Baseline VAT and SAT volume (in cm(3)) and attenuation (in Hounsfield units, HU) were assessed. Outcomes included blood pressure, lipids and glucose. We constructed multivariable regression models predicting change from baseline to follow-up. Baseline VAT was associated with metabolic risk factors at follow-up. Per 500 cm(3) increment in baseline VAT, glucose was 2.34 mg/dL higher (95% CI 1.71-2.97) and HDL was 1.62 mg/dL lower (95% CI 0.97-2.28) in women (p<0.0001 for both). These findings remained significant after adjustment for BMI. Results for SAT were similar, although less striking. Lower (more negative) fat attenuation was associated with more adverse metabolic profiles at follow-up. For example, per 5 unit decrease in baseline VAT HU, log triglycerides increased by 0.08 mg/dL (95% CI 0.05-0.12, p=0.005), which remained significant after adjustment for baseline VAT. Among men, VAT and SAT HU were associated with changes in CVD risk factors, but were mostly attenuated after baseline volume adjustment. -VAT and SAT volume are associated with incident metabolic risk factors beyond their contributions to overall adiposity. Decrements in fat attenuation are also associated with incident risk factors. These findings suggest that both volume and quality of VAT and SAT contribute to metabolic risk.