Transarterial Degradation of Hyaluronic Acid Filler by Hyaluronidase

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Hyaluronidase (HYAL) has been recommended in the emergency treatment of ischemia caused by accidental intra-arterial injection of hyaluronic acid (HA) dermal fillers. To date, there have been no published studies showing that HYAL can pass through intact arterial wall to hydrolyze HA emboli.


The goal of this study was to study whether or not HYAL could cross intact human facial arterial wall to hydrolyze HA filler.


Short tied-off segments of fresh human cadaver–sourced facial artery specimens, overfilled with a monophasic dermal filler (dermal filler “sausages”), were immersed in either HYAL or normal saline as controls. At 4 and 24 hours, the vessels were removed from the preparations, and one end of each vessel was cut open.


Only the HYAL-immersed specimens showed degradation of filler gel.


In conclusion, cross-linked HA is susceptible to hydrolysis by HYAL when contained within the intact facial artery in a cadaver model, indicating that direct intra-arterial injection of HYAL is likely not necessary to help restore the circulation of ischemic tissues. This bench study provides support for the current recommended treatment of accidental intra-arterial injection with HYAL injection diffusely into ischemic tissues.

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