BACKGROUND: The etiology of cellulite is unclear. Treatment of cellulite has targeted adipose tissue, dermis, and fibrous septae with varying degrees of success and durability of response. OBJECTIVE: Results from clinical trials that target different anatomical aspects of cellulite can provide insights into the underlying pathophysiology of cellulite. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A search of the PubMed database and ClinicalTrials.gov website was conducted to identify clinical trials that have investigated treatments for cellulite. RESULTS: A lack of trial protocol standardization, objective means for quantification of improvement and reported cellulite severity, and short-term follow-up, as well as variation in assessment methods have made comparisons among efficacy studies challenging. However, the lack of durable efficacy and inconsistency seen in clinical results suggest that dermal or adipose tissue changes are not the primary etiologies of cellulite. Clinical studies targeting the collagen-rich fibrous septae in cellulite dimples through mechanical, surgical, or enzymatic approaches suggest that targeting fibrous septae is the strategy most likely to provide durable improvement of skin topography and the appearance of cellulite. CONCLUSION: The etiology of cellulite has not been completely elucidated. However, there is compelling clinical evidence that fibrous septae play a central role in the pathophysiology of cellulite.
S77 - S85
School of Medicine