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In previous articles in this series,1,2 I have discussed strategies for rejuvenation of the glabella, forehead and periocular region with Dysport (abobotulinumtoxin A, Medicis), a botulinum neurotoxin A that was approved by the FDA for aesthetic use earlier this year. In this article and the one to follow, I will discuss some basic and more advanced strategies for integrative treatment of the upper face with Dysport.

Rationale and Goals of Integrative Treatment
Integrative treatment with botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT-A) is based upon consideration of each patient's facial anatomy, the activity pattern of muscles of expression across the whole face, and the specific interactions between these muscles. The goal is to go beyond mere neuromodulation of distinct muscles and to actually reshape the aging face so that it once again has youthful contours. The rationale for integrative treatment is that it yields more aesthetically pleasing, and potentially longer lasting, results. Integrative treatment of the upper face with BoNT-A is especially fascinating because the neurotoxin plays a primary role in the reshaping process here, with dermal fillers serving as adjuncts. (In contrast, dermal fillers assume a more primary role in reshaping the mid and lower face.) It is equally fascinating because a keen appreciation of individual variations in anatomy and function of the facial musculature, along with an understanding of facial aging, are crucial to achieving the best results.

In the upper face, the interplay of these factors is well-exemplified by consideration of the Frontalis muscle. From the anatomical standpoint, Frontalis is often depicted in textbooks as traversing the forehead in two distinct bands with central separation; however, the more common clinical presentation is one broad muscular band with no separation.3,4 From a functional standpoint, there is a complex balance between Frontalis in its role as a brow elevator, and the muscles that depress the brows— Procerus, Corrugator supercilii, Depressor supercilii and Orbicularis Oculi. (Fig. 1) Age-related loss of skin elasticity must also be taken into account. These factors impact the pattern of rhytides on the forehead, the shape and position of the eyebrows and the fullness of the eyelids. Evaluation of these clinical characteristics thus allows determination of the optimal placement of sites for BoNT-A injection into Frontalis.

Educational Initiatives
With the approval of Dysport for aesthetic use, we have our first opportunity as clinicians in the US to select between specific BoNT-A products for our patients, just as our colleagues elsewhere in the world have done for years. I consider both Dysport and Botox Cosmetic (onabotulinumtoxin A, Allergan) to be gold standard therapies for facial rejuvenation. The two products have excellent and comparable efficacy, safety and tolerability profiles. I offer the strategies below with the understanding that Dysport and Botox Cosmetic are the same in key respects, including FDA indication for aesthetic use and safety labeling, general placement of injection points and consistency of results. Selection of one BoNT-A product versus the other may be based upon physician and patient preference, treatment objectives, the slight but distinct differences between products—and other, more prosaic considerations such as the cost of treatment supplies.

A new Continuing Medical Education (CME) initiative, “Advances in Cosmetic Therapy – A Focus on Botulinum Neurotoxin A” (ACT), may be of value to those who wish to develop and advance their skills with the aesthetic use of BoNT-A (see registration information below). The ACT initiative comprises local and regional workshops that provide a clinical and scientific overview of BoNT-A, including consensus recommendations for on-label and off-label aesthetic use of both FDA-approved BoNT-A products and innovative synchronized video of BoNT-A injection techniques and results. Upcoming ACT workshops for which the interested reader may register include one following the Mount Sinai Winter Dermatology Symposium in New York City this December, and one in conjunction with the Advances in Cosmetic and Medical Dermatology Symposium (Maui Derm 2010) in Hawaii this January.

Strategy 1: Understand Facial Ideals
The ideal female face has the shape of a heart or inverted triangle, with a prominent upper face and mid face tapering to a less prominent lower face. For men, the ideal is a more oval or rectangular face with approximately equal prominence of the upper, mid and lower face. (Fig. 2) Aging results in loss of facial skin elasticity and volume, and hyperdynamic activity of some muscles of facial expression. These changes, together with the effects of gravity, all play a part in increasing prominence of the lower face relative to the upper and mid face (Fig. 3). This is especially detrimental to the female face because it reverses the ideal triangular or heart-shaped taper. Skilled BoNT-A injection to the upper face can alter the apparent length and width of the forehead, optimize eyebrow position and enhance the size and shape of the eyes. A small change in these features can have a profound impact by restoring prominence to the upper face, which in turn has a slimming effect upon the lower face. The overall result is to shift facial proportions back towards the youthful ideal. (Fig. 4)

Strategy 2. Simple Dysport Dosing (Table 1)
A thorough understanding of Dysport dosing is a pre-requisite for integrative treatment. Dosing of Dysport is easily mastered, whether you prefer to think directly in Dysport Units (DU) or to convert from Botox Units (BU). I find it more logical to think directly in Dysport Units, with 10 DU being a standard dose per injection point, 7.5 DU or 5 DU per injection point being used for smaller doses and 2.5 DU per point being used for the smallest dose. In the upper face, I use this smallest dose of 2.5 DU for conservative brow shaping, eye-opening and minor adjustment of previous treatment. (Fig. 5)

If employing a conversion ratio, the consensus is a ratio of 2.5 DU to 1 BU. Thus, 10 DU is clinically equivalent to 4 BU.

Strategy 3: Simple Dysport Reconstitution (Table 2)
Dysport for aesthetic use is supplied in a sterile vial containing 300 DU of freeze-dried abobotulinumtoxin A. Reconstitution of Dysport, as with Botox Cosmetic, may be performed with a wide range of reconstitution volumes. For Dysport, I find three of these reconstitution volumes, 1.5mL, 2.5mL and 3mL, to be of clinical relevance.

Reconstitution with 1.5mL of normal (0.9%) saline is FDA-approved. Clinicians who prefer to inject small volumes of BoNT-A at each point may reconstitute the Dysport vial with 1.5mL saline; 0.05mL of the reconstituted solution will then contain the standard dose of 10 DU. (I prefer this reconstitution volume as I feel that small injection volumes may cause less discomfort for some patients, especially in less distensible areas of the face such as the forehead.) Reconstitution with 2.5mL of normal (0.9%) saline is also FDAapproved. If the Dysport vial is reconstituted with 2.5mL saline, then 0.08mL of the reconstituted solution will contain the standard dose of 10 DU.

A third reconstitution volume, 3mL, which is off FDA labeling, may be useful for those who are accustomed to treating patients with Botox Cosmetic by injecting a standard dose of 4 BU in a volume of 0.1mL at each point. If the Dysport vial is reconstituted with 3mL of saline, then 0.1mL of the reconstituted solution will contain the standard dose of 10 DU, which is considered clinically equivalent to 4 BU.

Strategy 4. Reduce Injection Points
As noted above, general placement of injection points for Dysport is the same as for Botox Cosmetic. One of Dysport's more interesting properties is that it may have a slightly wider zone of activity (hereafter referred to as field of effect) than Botox Cosmetic in certain situations. It is important to note that neither product's field of effect is associated with any increase in adverse effects. Specifically, the incidence of eyelid ptosis, which is an indicator of undesirable spread or diffusion after glabellar injection, is low and comparable with both BoNT-A products: Combined data from Dysport studies show a ptosis rate of 2.1 percent and the Dysport package insert reports a ptosis rate of two percent from a study of 398 subjects5 while the package insert for Botox Cosmetic reports a ptosis rate of five percent based on literature reports,6 and a ptosis rate of 3.2 percent from a study of 405 subjects.7 Dysport's wider field of effect may permit a reduction in the number of injection points necessary to achieve optimal results for some patients.

In the upper face, this is most evident when treating the forehead and the lateral periocular regions. Clinicians and patients may consider this reduction in injection points to be advantageous because it potentially decreases discomfort during treatment and also the risk of ecchymosis.

Improvement of rhytides across the whole forehead with preservation of facial expressivity and a natural look can be achieved by injection of Dysport at three to seven points, with a dosage of 5 to 10 DU at each point. (Fig. 6) I find that these clinical results are reminiscent of those that I have obtained previously when injecting Botox Cosmetic at 10 to 15 points across the forehead using a microdroplet technique, whereby the Botox Cosmetic is reconstituted with a relatively large volume of saline (I have typically used 5 mL) and small doses (typically 1 to 3 BU) are injected at each point. I have also found that Dysport's wider field of effect may permit improvement for some patients in rhytides that have been traditionally thought to be less amenable to BoNT-A treatment, such as the lines that lie immediately above the middle and lateral one-thirds of the eyebrows. (Fig. 7)

In the lateral periocular region, injection of Dysport at two or three points on each side with a dosage of 10 to 20 DU at each point can yield a pattern of global improvement in some patients similar to that which I have previously obtained by injecting Botox Cosmetic at five to eight points on each side using the microdroplet technique.

Strategy 5: Make Fact-Based Decisions
This past year is notable for the approval of a new BoNT-A product for aesthetic use in the US, and by new, FDA-mandated safety labeling for all approved botulinum neurotoxin products: Botox Cosmetic, Dysport and Myobloc (rimabotulinumtoxin B, Solstice Neurosciences). As clinicians, our responsibility is to uphold and honor the FDA's new safety guidelines and risk evaluation and mitigation strategy, while dialogue continues to determine what specific guidelines pertain to the aesthetic use of Dysport and Botox Cosmetic.

It is also our responsibility to insure that selection of a specific BoNT-A product for our patients is based upon facts. It is perhaps inevitable that misconceptions have arisen, given the prevalence of marketing campaigns and media hyperbole in the field of aesthetic medicine, and the profound impact that these non-medical information sources may have upon the psyches of patients and clinicians alike. It is worth keeping in mind that a number of additional BoNT-A products will find their way to our shores over the next few years. As with Dysport and Botox Cosmetic, these new products will have already been approved and safely used elsewhere in the world prior to their arrival in the US. And, like Dysport and Botox Cosmetic, they will undergo extensive studies in the US as a pre-requisite for FDA approval. It seems somewhat naïve to believe that the introduction of new BoNT-A products could be detrimental merely because it represents a change to the status quo—particularly in the face of incontrovertible clinical and scientific evidence that this is not the case. We have benefited greatly from expansion of our therapeutic armamentaria with new dermal fillers and lasers. We have every reason to believe that the availability of more than one BoNT-A product is similarly beneficial and further advances our paradigms of patient care.

Next month: Taking Advantage of Quicker Onset, Achieving Smoother Transition Zones and Perfecting Your Strategies for Integrative Rejuvenation of the Upper Face.

Dr. Sundaram serves on the Steering Committee for The PharmAdura Continuing Medical Education initiative, “Advances in Cosmetic Therapy - A Focus on Botulinum Neurotoxin A” (ACT), which is supported by independen educational funding from Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp. Physicians may register to attend a local ACT program by calling 1-877-252-5100 ext.29 or by faxing information to PharmAdura, LLC. at 1-845-398-5108.

Maui Derm 2010 (Advances in Cosmetic and Medical Dermatology) runs from January 23 to 27, 2010 and includes a full day dedicated to didactic presentations and live injection training sessions for botulinum neurotoxins and dermal fillers. Physicians may register for Maui Derm 2010 at

Dr. Sundaram has performed media work for Allergan, Inc., serves as a Consultant and Speaker for Johnson &Johnson, as a Clinical Investigator, Consultant and Speaker for Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp., as an Advisorand Speaker for SkinMedica, Inc., and as a Clinical Investigator and Speaker for Syneron Medical.

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