Conference Coverage

Carboxytherapy caused small yet transient subcutaneous fat reduction

 

Key clinical point: Carboxytherapy yielded a modest reduction in fat that went away after a few months.

Major finding: A significant difference in fat thickness was observed in the carboxytherapy-treated flank region 1 week after the last treatment (P = .011).

Study details: A randomized, split-body study of 16 adults.

Disclosures: Dr. Alam reported having no financial disclosures.


 

REPORTING FROM ASLMS 2018

Carboxytherapy – the insufflation of carbon dioxide gas into the skin layers – may provide a small but transient decrease in subcutaneous fat, a small randomized, controlled trial demonstrated.

“Carboxytherapy has been previously used therapeutically to reduce fat, and studies of carboxytherapy have been done in the past as well,” the study’s senior author, Murad Alam, MD, said in an interview in advance of a poster session at the annual conference of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery Inc. “However, earlier studies have not been controlled trials.”


For the split-body study, he and his associates enrolled 16 adults and randomized one side of their body to receive infusions of 1,000 cc of CO2 every week for 5 weeks in the flank region, while the contralateral side received sham treatments. Outcomes of interest included fat layer thickness using a diagnostic ultrasound, total circumference, and body weight, said Dr. Alam, vice-chair of the department of dermatology and chief of the division of cutaneous and aesthetic surgery at Northwestern University, Chicago. He reported that a significant difference in fat thickness was observed in the carboxytherapy-treated side 1 week after the last treatment (P = .011), but this difference was not maintained at 28 weeks as measured by diagnostic ultrasound. Total circumference decreased nominally but not significantly. Body weights did not significantly change throughout the study.

Dr. Murad Alam, vice-chair of the department of dermatology and chief of the division of cutaneous and aesthetic surgery at Northwestern University, Chicago

Dr. Murad Alam

“Carboxytherapy is a promising fat reduction therapy in that it does not require expensive disposable products, or nonnatural materials,” Dr. Alam said. “What could be more natural than the carbon dioxide present in all living things and in the air? On the other hand, as it is typically performed, it appears not to have a durable effect. We were a little disappointed that did not appear to persist for many months, and gradually diminished. We need to better understand how to space treatments, and how to schedule treatments, to maximize the cumulative effect and the duration of this benefit.”

Dr. Alam acknowledged that the study’s small sample size is a limitation. “We do think we did enough treatments, five per side, to obtain an effect if one were to be seen,” he said. The researchers reported having no financial disclosures.

Next Article:

   Comments ()

Recommended for You

News & Commentary

Quizzes from MD-IQ

Research Summaries from ClinicalEdge