Subcutaneous infiltration of carbon dioxide (carboxytherapy) for abdominal fat reduction: A randomized clinical trial

Murad Alam*, Divya Sadhwani, Amelia Geisler, Imran Aslam, Inder Raj S. Makin, Daniel I. Schlessinger, Wareeporn Disphanurat, Marisa Pongprutthipan, Nataya Voravutinon, Alexandra Weil, Brian R. Chen, Dennis P. West, Emir Veledar, Emily Poon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Noninvasive fat removal is preferred because of decreased downtime and lower perceived risk. It is important to seek new noninvasive fat removal treatments that are both safe and efficacious. Objective: To assess the extent to which carboxytherapy, which is the insufflation of carbon dioxide gas into subcutaneous fat, results in reduction of fat volume. Methods: In this randomized, sham-controlled, split-body study, adults (body mass index, 22-29 kg/m2) were randomized to receive 5 weekly infusions of 1000 cm3 of CO2 to 1 side of the abdomen, and 5 sham treatments to the contralateral side. The primary outcome measures were ultrasound measurement of fat layer thickness and total circumference before and after treatment. Results: A total of 16 participants completed the study. Ultrasound measurement indicated less fat volume on the side treated with carboxytherapy 1 week after the last treatment (P =.011), but the lower fat volume was not maintained at 28 weeks. Total circumference decreased nominally but not significantly at week 5 compared with baseline (P =.0697). Participant body weights did not change over the entire course of the study (P = 1.00). Limitations: Limitations included modest sample size and some sources of error in the measurement of circumference and fat layer. Conclusion: Carboxytherapy provides a transient decrease in subcutaneous fat that may not persist. Treatment is well tolerated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-326
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • carboxytherapy
  • fat reduction
  • fat volume
  • noninvasive fat reduction
  • subcutaneous fat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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