Content » Vol 95, Issue 8

Investigative Report

Regional Diffusion of Botulinum Toxin in Facial Muscles: A Rando­mised Double-blind Study and a Consideration for Clinical Studies with Split-face Design

Anna Rostedt Punga , Annika Eriksson, Mohammad Alimohammadi
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-2093


Despite the extensive use of botulinum toxin A (BoNTA) in medical and cosmetic treatments, the potential spreading of BoNTA to surrounding tissues remains unknown. A patient with hemifacial paralysis upon blepharospasm treatment with low dose of BoNTA, prompted us to investigate the spreading effect. A randomised, double-blind study was conducted in which 5 healthy women (33–52 years) were treated with different doses of onabotulinum toxin unilaterally in the corrugator muscle. Parameters of efficacy and diffusion (CMAP; EMG and jitter analysis) in both glabellar and frontalis muscles were assessed at baseline, 2 and 4 weeks following BoNTA injection. CMAP of the treated glabellar muscles was reduced to approximately 40% in all dose groups. Additionally, contralateral CMAP reduction was observed in 3 of 5 subjects. These data confirm regional diffusion of BoNTA in facial muscle application, which raises question on the reliability of split-face models in BoNTA studies.


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