Research in British Columbia, Canada, indicates that liquid injectable silicone administered properly has potential as a safe, effective, natural feeling treatment for patients with HIV-associated facial lipoatrophy (FLA). The researchers tested liquid injectable silicone because temporary filler treatments were not permanent and could result in high costs.
Alastair Carruthers, FRCPC, clinical professor of the department of dermatology and skin science at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and colleagues studied 20 Caucasian patients (18 men) ages 34-58 with HIV-associated FLA. The patients received a maximum of 2 milliliters (mL) of 1,000-cSt highly purified medical-grade liquid injectable silicone at each session, with a maximum of six sessions. The researchers evaluated safety, efficacy, injection volumes, and patient satisfaction at 9, 12, and 18 months post-treatment. Eighteen patients received six sessions, one had five, and one had four sessions. After the fifth session, 15 patients had complete correction, 17 had complete correction after 9 months, and most patients maintained correction at 18-month follow-up. No patients reported persistent adverse events.
The researchers concluded that that highly purified 1,000-cSt liquid injectable silicone, when administered by microdroplet technique of no more than 2mL per visit appeared to be promising and safe for treating HIV-associated FLA. They acknowledged that the study was limited by its small population size and was noncomparative and nonmasked. Carruthers stated that the small study justified a longer, larger study.
The full report, "HIV-Associated Facial Lipoatrophy Treated With Injectable Silicone Oil: A Pilot Study," was published online in the Journal of The American Academy of Dermatology (2013; doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2013.03.025).
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