Systematic review of the therapeutic roles of adipose tissue in dermatology

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Abstract

Background

Adipose tissue has classically functioned as a filler in restoring facial volume. Adipose tissue is also rich in stem cells, which may have a role in regenerative medicine.

Objective

To summarize the literature on the clinical uses of adipose tissue in scarring, wound healing, and hair growth and determine whether evidence exists for changes in clinical practice in dermatology.

Methods

We utilized the Preferred Reporting Items for Systemic Reviews and Meta-Analyses to conduct the review. The PubMed search engine was used to assess the available literature on adipose tissue in scarring, wound healing, and hair growth.

Results

A total of 13 studies matched our inclusion criteria; 6 of the 7 studies on scar treatment, all 3 studies on wound healing, and all 3 studies on hair growth demonstrated improved outcomes with adipose tissue treatments.

Limitations

The literature supporting the use of adipose tissue is limited to case series, cohort studies, and small randomized controlled trials, which have an overall low level of evidence.

Conclusion

The existing evidence for adipose tissue as a treatment option in scarring, wound healing, and hair growth is not strong enough to justify changes to current clinical practice. The literature does provide evidence for future large randomized clinical trials.

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