24.0: Thursday, March 17, 2005

Analysis of Fresh and Frozen Autologous Fat Obtained by Suction-Assisted Lipectomy

Alfonso Camberos, MD, Henry M. Spinelli, MD, Robert T. Grant, MD, Lloyd B. Gayle, MD, and Anthony N. LaBruna, MD.

Purpose: To analyze adipocyte viability from fresh and frozen autologous fat obtained by suction-assisted lipectomy. Materials and Methods: Fat samples were obtained from 6 patients undergoing elective liposuction. Samples were divided into 5 groups for analysis. After collagenase degradation, specimens were stained with typhan blue and viable cells were counted using a hemocytometer. The first group was analyzed immediately after harvesting. Group 2 samples were frozen at -20 degrees Celsius after the addition of a 10% glycerol solution. Group 3 samples were also frozen at -20 degrees Celsius but without glycerol. Group 4 was frozen at -80 degrees C with glycerol and Group 5 was frozen at -80 degrees C without glycerol. After four weeks, fat samples were slowly thawed and analyzed. Results: A significant reduction in viability of approximately 50% was demonstrated amongst all of the frozen samples (p>0.05). No statistically significant difference was observed between fat samples frozen at -20 degrees C versus -80 degrees C. The addition of a 10% glycerol solution also did not improve viability (p<0.05). Conclusion: The process of freezing autologous fat for future transplantation appears to be detrimental to adipocyte viability and may be the underlying cause of its unpredictable results.