The main drawback of autologous fat grafting, which is commonly used for soft-tissue augmentation, is the high resorption rate. Cell-assisted lipotransfer has been used to improve fat graft survival; however, evidence for its efficacy and safety is still lacking.
The authors searched PubMed, Cochrane Library, EBSCO, and EMBASE for clinical studies on cell-assisted lipotransfer published from 2008 through 2014. A meta-analysis was conducted to pool the estimated fat survival rate. Incidence of complications and incidence of multiple operations were calculated.
Seventeen articles involving 387 cases were included in the systematic review. The pooled fat survival rate was significantly higher in the cell-assisted lipotransfer group than in the nonlipotransfer group (60 percent versus 45 percent, p = 0.0096). Complication incidence was similar in the two groups. Cell-assisted lipotransfer significantly improved fat survival in the face (by 19 percent) and reduced the incidence of multiple operations (by 13.6 percent). In breast fat grafting, however, fat survival was improved by only 9 percent, which was not statistically significant. Meanwhile, lipotransfer in breast cases was associated with a higher complication incidence compared with face cases (p < 0.001).
This study demonstrates that cell-assisted lipotransfer has better efficacy than conventional fat grafting (non–cell-assisted lipotransfer). It is more applicable to face cases than to breast cases. Until now, there has not been enough evidence of the superiority of cell-assisted lipotransfer over conventional fat grafting for reducing complications.
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
From the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine.
Received for publication December 16, 2014; accepted June 1, 2015.
The first two authors contributed equally to this work as co–first authors.
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Disclosure:The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article.
Qingfeng Li, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, 639 Zhizaoju Road, Shanghai, 200011, People’s Republic of China, firstname.lastname@example.org, Xiaolu Huang, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, 639 Zhizaoju Road, Shanghai, 200011, People’s Republic of China, email@example.com