Gordon Sasaki, M.D., Barbara Tucker, RN, Margaret Gaston, "Clinical Parameters for Predicting Efficacy and Safety with Non-Ablative Monopolar Radiofrequency Treatments to Forehead, Face and Neck", Aesthetic Surgery Journal, 2007. ( 7/2007 )
Background: Patient selection is key to obtaining a successful outcome after non-ablative monopolar radiofrequency treatments to the forehead, face and neck. The purpose of this study was to discover at baseline any predictors from patient demographics, skin and fat characteristics, measurable degrees of tissue mobility and photoaging that may be useful to predict a positive result under a standardized treatment algorithm.
Methods: Twenty-five patients (22 females, 3 males; average age 52.3 years) were selected randomly for NMRF treatments (2 non-overlapping passes, additional passes for vectored contraction and contouring) between 350-450 firings with 1.5 cm tips to the forehead, periorbitum, face and upper neck. Patients were evaluated at baseline and followed for outcomes beyond 1 year by a number of quantitative assessments.
Results: At baseline, 3, 6 and l2 months, measurements of skin thickness, subcutaneous fat depth, tissue mobility, and wrinkle and fold depth were obtained at nine different reference sites on each patient. Nineteen patients (76%), who progressively responded to NMRF energy over 12 months, were observed at baseline to have a global mobility score (mean ± S.D.) of 3.4 ± 0.27 mm; six patients, who were assessed to be non-responders over l year of evaluation, began with more tissue laxity and exhibited at baseline a larger global mobility score (mean ± S.D.) of 4.4 ± 0.60 mm. Other factors, that were more likely to be associated with a positive response to NMRF treatment, included minimal degrees of photoaging and shallower wrinkle/fold development. The variables of skin thickness and fat depth did not play significant roles in predicting positive responses to treatment. Side effects and complications were minimal throughout the study.
Conclusions: This study represents one of the first investigations that attempts to identify systematically objective baseline parameters that are more likely to be associated with positive responses to NMRF treatments to the forehead, face and neck. Longer follow-ups of our patients and further studies will be required to verify our preliminary findings.