May 31, 2013
1 min read

Liquid injectable silicone effective, safe for treating HIV patients with facial lipoatrophy

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Liquid injectable silicone administered properly has the potential as a safe, effective and natural-feeling treatment for patients with HIV-associated facial lipoatrophy, according to recent study results.

This study was designed to demonstrate safety and efficacy of injectable silicone oil in the HIV-[associated facial lipoatrophy] population,” Alastair Carruthers, FRCPC, clinical professor of the department of dermatology and skin science at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, told

Alastair Carruthers 

Alastair Carruthers

Carruthers and fellow researchers studied 20 Caucasian patients aged 34 to 58 years (18 men) with HIV-associated facial lipoatrophy (FLA). The patients were treated with highly purified medical-grade 1,000-cSt liquid injectable silicone at a maximum of 2 mL each session and a maximum of six sessions. Safety, efficacy, injection volumes and patient satisfaction were evaluated at 9, 12 and 18 months after treatment.

Eighteen patients were treated with six sessions, one patient had five sessions, and one patient had four sessions. No persistent adverse events were reported.

After the fifth session, 15 patients had complete correction of their Carruthers Lipoatrophy Severity Scale score, with 17 patients having complete correction at 9 months after the procedure. Most patients maintained correction at the 18-month follow-up.

Researchers said the liquid injectable silicone was tested because temporary filler treatments lacked permanence and could result in excessive costs.

The study was limited by its small population size, it was noncomparative and nonmasked, the researchers reported.

“We have demonstrated that highly purified 1,000-cSt [liquid injectable silicone], when administered by the microdroplet technique of no more than 2 mL per visit, appears promising and safe for the treatment of HIV-associated FLA,” the researchers concluded.

 “Although small and relatively short, the study justified a longer, larger study,” Carruthers said. “This study was not designed to investigate the use of injectable silicone oil in the non-HIV positive population.”