HealthDay News — A novel high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) treatment with a cooling system is safe and efficient for destroying adipocytes, according to a study published online in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

Heun Joo Lee, MD, from the University of Ulsan College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues conducted a series of 4 HIFU treatments with or without contact cooling on 3 pigs over a period of 12 weeks. Treatment with the HIFU device with cooling was also administered to 3 human volunteers.

The researchers found that HIFU with contact cooling reduced skin surface temperature and prevented damage to the epidermis. Immediately after HIFU treatment, ecchymosis was observed on the non-cooled area, but not on the cooled area. Disrupted adipocytes were revealed in the treatment area in histological analyses of both cooled and non-cooled areas immediately and at 1 and 4 weeks after treatment. At 4 weeks there was evidence of lipophagic histiocytic fat necrosis. All inflammation subsided at 12 weeks, and the lobules were markedly atrophied with reduced thickness of subcutaneous adipose tissue. After 4 weeks, human volunteers experienced reduction of a few centimeters in waist circumference. The pain was tolerable without bruising.

“This novel HIFU device with an added contact cooling system may provide an effective, safe and less painful treatment as a non-invasive device for fat reduction,” the authors write.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)