Objective To assess effectiveness of intradermal injections of autologous fibroblasts for the treatment of facial rhytids and dermal depressions.
Design Six-month prospective pilot study. Photographs and silicone molds were taken of a prominent rhytid or dermal depression from each patient prior to treatment and at 6 months after treatment.
Setting Specialty clinic in academic medical center.
Patients Ten adults (age range, 24-69 years) who each exhibited a prominent rhytid or depressed facial scar.
Intervention A 3-mm postauricular skin biopsy specimen from each participant was sent to Isolagen Technologies, Inc, laboratories, where a fibroblast cell line was developed. Three injection sessions were performed at 2-week intervals; target areas were the study site as well as behind the ear.
Main Outcome Measures Subjective improvement scores were obtained by each patient and 2 clinicians at every follow-up visit. Skin surface topographical features were evaluated with optical profilometry by comparing silicone molds before and after injection. Histological analysis was performed on a biopsy specimen of the postauricular injection site.
Results Nine of 10 patients noted a 60% to 100% improvement with the treatment; clinicians made similar observations. Size reduction of 10% up to 85% of the study site was demonstrated by optical profilometry for every patient. Microscopically, there was evidence of increased thickness and density of dermal-layer collagen.
Conclusions Intradermal injection of autologous fibroblasts may be an effective treatment option for facial rhytids and depressed scars.