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Injections Counter HIV-Associated Facial Wasting

Study of injectable poly-L-lactic acid shows significant improvements in skin thickness

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with HIV-associated facial wasting, or lipoatrophy, treatment with serial injections of poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) is safe, effective and well-tolerated, according to the results of a study published in the November issue of Dermatologic Surgery.

Douglas Mest, M.D., of the Blue Pacific Aesthetic Medical Group in El Segundo, Calif., and a colleague conducted a single-site, open-label study of 97 patients who received up to six treatment sessions of injectable PLLA and were followed for 12 months after treatment.

At the end of treatment, the researchers found a 65.1 percent mean increase in skin thickness compared to baseline values, which was maintained six months and 12 months after treatment (68.8 percent and 73 percent, respectively). They also found that patient satisfaction at the end of treatment was 4.5 on a five-point scale, which increased to 4.8 at 12 months after treatment. They observed no serious adverse events.

"Cost and access issues remain for patients who suffer with this condition," the authors conclude. "The data presented here will hopefully add to the body of evidence supporting this need and the effectiveness of treatment for this condition."

Both authors serve as consultants for Dermik Laboratories, the manufacturer of the study material.

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