Contactless Abdominal Fat Reduction With Selective RF™ Evaluated by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): Case Study

April 2016 | Volume 15 | Issue 4 | Original Article | 491 | Copyright © April 2016

Jeanine Downie MDa and Miroslav Kaspar MDb

aImage Dermatology, Montclair, NJ
bProton Therapy Center, Prague, Czech Republic

BACKGROUND: Noninvasive body shaping methods seem to be an ascending part of the aesthetics market. As a result, the pressure to develop reliable methods for the collection and presentation of their results has also increased. The most used techniques currently include ultrasound measurements of fat thickness in the treated area, caliper measurements, bioimpedance-based scale measurements or circumferential tape measurements. Although these are the most used techniques, almost all of them have some limitations in reproducibility and/or accuracy. This study shows Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as the new method for the presentation of results in the body shaping industry.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Six subjects were treated by a contactless selective radiofrequency device (BTL Vanquish ME, BTL Industries Inc., Boston, MA). The MRI fat thickness was measured at the baseline and at 4-weeks following the treatment. In addition to MRI images and measurements, digital photographs and anthropometric evaluations such as weight, abdominal circumference, and caliper fat thickness measurements were recorded. Abdominal fat thickness measurements from the MRI were performed from the same slices determined by the same tissue artefacts.
RESULTS: The MRI fat thickness difference between the baseline measurement and follow up visit showed an average reduction of 5.36 mm as calculated from the data of 5 subjects. One subject dropped out of study due to non-study related issues. The results were statistically significant based on the Student’s T-test evaluation.
CONCLUSIONS: Magnetic resonance imaging abdominal fat thickness measurements seems to be the best method for the evaluation of fat thickness reduction after non-invasive body shaping treatments. In this study, this method shows average fat thickness reduction of 5.36 mm while the weight of the subjects didn’t change significantly. A large spot size measuring 1317cm2 (204 square inches) covers the abdomen flank to flank. The average thickness of 5.36 mm of the fat layer reduced under the applicator translates into significant cumulative circumferential reduction. The reduction was not related with dieting.

J Drugs Dermatol. 2016;15(4):491-495.


Body contouring is the targeted removal of a limited amount of adipose tissue to achieve a more aesthetic body shape. There is no shortage of invasive and noninvasive body contouring procedures available for individuals looking to improve their physical appearance for aesthetic or medical reasons.
Invasive surgical procedures for fat reduction are associated with risks of side effects, great discomfort, lengthy downtime and substantial financial costs. The search for safer alternatives and advancement in technology expedited the development of less-invasive and noninvasive body contouring techniques and procedures. Numerous noninvasive transcutaneous fat reduction technologies are available in the aesthetic field which include mechanical massagers, lasers, high intensity focused ultrasounds, cryolipolysis, radiofrequency (RF) or their combinations.1-3
Selective radiofrequency is new to cosmetic dermatology and other noninvasive aesthetic treatments such as skin tightening and fat reduction.2
The medical use of RF is based on an oscillating electrical current that forces collisions between charged molecules and ions, which are then transformed into heat. RF-generated tissue heating has different biological and clinical effects depending on the depth of tissue targeted and frequency used. Selective RF technology also has the ability to noninvasively and preferentially heat large volumes of subcutaneous adipose tissue. By selecting the appropriate electric field, it is possible to selectively obtain greater heating of fat. Adipose tissue contains electrical dipoles. The direction of dipoles is chaotic and polarization arranges dipoles in one direction. Dielectric polarization requires that every electrical dipole is rotated against the polarization of the electrical field. With a rapidly alternating