Anti-fibrosclerotic effects of shock wave therapy in lipedema and cellulite

Biofactors. 2005;24(1-4):275-82. doi: 10.1002/biof.5520240132.


In vivo measurements in 26 female patients with lipedema and cellulite parameters were carried out before and after therapy by means of complex physical decongestive therapy (CPDT) including manual lymph drainage and compression as main components and/or shock wave therapy (SWT). Oxidative stress parameters of blood serum and biomechanic skin properties/smoothening of dermis and hypodermis surface were evaluated. Oxidative stress in lipedema and cellulite was demonstrated by increased serum concentrations of malondialdehyde (MDA) and plasma protein carbonyls compared with healthy control persons. Both MDA and protein carbonyls in blood plasma decreased after serial shock wave application and CPDT. The SWT itself and CPDT itself lead to MDA release from edematous tissue into the plasma. Obviously both therapy types, SWT and CPDT, mitigate oxidative stress in lipedema and cellulite. In parallel SWT improved significantly the biomechanic skin properties leading to smoothening of dermis and hypodermis surface. Significant correlation between MDA depletion of edematous and lipid enriched dermis and improvement of mechanic skin properties was demonstrated. From these findings it is concluded, that a release of lipid peroxidation (LPO) products from edematous dermis is an important sclerosis-preventing effect of SWT and/or CPDT in lipedema and cellulite. Expression of factors stimulating angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis such as VEGF was not induced by SWT and/or CPDT and, therefore, not involved in beneficial effects by SWT and/or CPDT.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue*
  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Edema / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Malondialdehyde / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Protein Carbonylation
  • Sclerosis / prevention & control
  • Skin
  • Ultrasonic Therapy*
  • Ultrasonics*


  • Malondialdehyde