BACKGROUND: Today, highly active antiretroviral therapy is lifesaving for most HIV-infected patients, but the treatment can result in facial lipoatrophy, which changes the face so radically that patients may develop severe psychological and social problems. Since 2001 polyacrylamide gel (PAAG) has been used successfully in HIV patients abroad. This article describes the results of a Danish study. METHODS: Forty HIV patients recruited from two major referral hospitals in the capitol area of Copenhagen, Denmark, each received a series of PAAG gel injections (small deposits in several sessions) with a 14-day interval. Patient satisfaction, injector's evaluation, evaluation by an external specialist in plastic surgery, and long-term aesthetic effect and complications were registered with follow-up until 2 years. RESULTS: All patients were very satisfied or satisfied with the result. The injector found the result very satisfying in 33 cases and a slight irregularity in 7. The external specialist found improvement in all cases with a one-grade reduction of the lipoatrophy in 11 cases, a two-grade reduction in 20, and a three-grade reduction in 3 cases. No filler-associated complications were recorded. CONCLUSION: This study has shown that PAAG can normalize contours in patients suffering from facial lipoatrophy within 3-6 sessions, with a mean amount of gel per session of 1.8 ml and a mean total amount of 8.8 ml. The results are in accordance with those of other large studies, confirming a high degree of biocompatibility and safety.
Mansor, S., Breiting, V. B., Dahlstrøm, K. K., Bengård Andersen, Å., Andersen, O., & Christensen, L. H. (2011). Polyacrylamide Gel Treatment of Antiretroviral Therapy-induced Facial Lipoatrophy in HIV Patients. Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 35(5), 709-716. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00266-011-9671-6