MFU is able to confine heating to small regions with precision not possible with lasers or radiofrequency devices. A new study shows the technique improved décolletage lines and wrinkles in 72% of women after 3 months.
They presented their findings at the 23rd European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress in the Netherlands.
Dr. Michael H. Gold, with the Tennessee Clinical Research Center in Nashville, TN, and colleagues evaluated results in 125 women who received one MFU treatment on the chest.
Normal aging results in characteristic changes in the skin and underlying connective tissue, Dr. Gold observed. These biologic changes, which include the development of rhytids and skin laxity, are caused by environmental factors such as repeated sun exposure and genetic predisposition. Such changes alter the structural properties of skin collagen, which leads to a loss of its inherent elasticity.
Micro-focused ultrasound (MFU) is an energy modality that can be focused to penetrate deeper into the tissue than energy delivery devices like CO2 and laser, and cause discrete zones of thermal coagulation. As a result, MFU does not produce the undesirable post-treatment effects seen with treatment modalities unable to avoid the superficial layers.
The MFU system used in the present study is also able to image the region of interest, which helps in planning treatment.
Dr. Gold said MFU is superior to lasers and radiofrequency devices, in that it is able to confine heating to small focal regions with a level of precision and depth that is not possible with lasers or radiofrequency devices.
Improvements in 72% of women at 3 months
Study participants were 35-70 years of age and had moderate to severe skin laxity on the décolletage. The primary outcome measure was masked assessment of photographs comparing baseline to 3 months and 6 months.
The analysis showed improvement by masked assessment in 72% of women at 3 months and 67% of women at 6 months.
On the Clinician Global Aesthetic Improvement Scale (CGAIS), a secondary outcome measure, there was an improvement in 76% of patients at 3 months and 65% at 6 months. The study also found high rates of patient satisfaction at 3 months and again at 6 months.
Oral medications (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and/or diazepam) were given 30-60 minutes pre-treatment. MFU treatments were well tolerated with only mild discomfort.
The most common side effects were mild and transient tenderness (38%), and edema and bruising or redness (22%). There were no reports of adverse serious events. All treatment-related adverse events were considered mild and transient except for one moderate case of bruising.
Jill Stein is a Paris-based freelance medical writer.