Stem cell enrichment does not warrant a higher graft survival in lipofilling of the breast: A prospective comparative study



      Stem cell enrichment is generally believed to be of crucial importance for success in lipofilling for cosmetic breast augmentation. No comparative clinical studies have been reported to support this.


      A total of 18 women underwent breast augmentation with water-assisted lipotransfer (WAL). In 10 of the cases, transferred lipoaspirate was enriched with stromal stem cells using the Celution® system (Cytori Therapeutics Inc., San Diego, Ca, USA). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based volumetric analysis was done preoperatively and 6 months after the procedure. To verify scientifically that stem cells were transplanted, samples of the transplanted tissues were processed in the laboratory to isolate the adipose stem cells (ASCs).


      MRI volumetry revealed a volume survival of the whole (watery) graft of mean 54% (SD 7) in the WAL only and of 50% (SD 10) in the WAL with stem cell-enrichment patients. As centrifugation of the WAL grafts demonstrated an average adipose tissue of 68%, the average volume survival of adipose tissue itself was 79% (SD 13) in the WAL only and 74% (SD 14) in the WAL with stem cell-enrichment patients. This difference (4.5%) was not statistically significant (independent samples t test, p = 0.330, 95% confidence interval of difference, 4.8, 13.9%).


      Breast augmentation by lipofilling using WAL alone is faster, cheaper, has a lower risk of contamination and offers at least an equal take rate. We do not see any advantage in stem cell enrichment by the Celution® system in cosmetic fat transplantation to the breast.


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