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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 4701481, 8 pages
Research Article

The Effects of Low-Intensity Ultrasound on Fat Reduction of Rat Model

1David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA
2Interdisciplinary Division of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong

Correspondence should be addressed to Lei Sun

Received 9 April 2017; Accepted 19 June 2017; Published 23 August 2017

Academic Editor: Dong Zhang

Copyright © 2017 Bill Zhou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nonfocused low-intensity ultrasound is generally believed to be less efficacious than High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) at body fat reduction; nevertheless, this technology has already been widely used clinically for body contouring purposes. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of this new technology by applying 1 MHz nonfocused ultrasound at 3 W/cm2 to the outer-thigh region of rat models. Ultrasonography measurement demonstrated an average reduction of 0.5 mm of subcutaneous fat thickness that persisted for at least three days after treatment. Biochemical analysis quantified a significant increase in lipid levels, specifically triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein, and total cholesterol. These two findings of subcutaneous fat reduction and plasma lipid increase showed a positive correlation. No evidence of adverse events or complications was observed after the treatment. This study validated nonfocused low-intensity ultrasound as an effective and safe method for body fat reduction, especially with repetitive treatment. However, the concurrent increase in plasma lipid level will require further investigation to determine this technology’s long-term impact, if any, on health.