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Effects of early and delayed laser application on nerve regeneration

Lasers in Medical Science

Tuba Akgul, Murat Gulsoy, Halil O. Gulcur

1/1/2013 - 10.1007/s10103-013-1355-9

The aim of this study is to analyze the differences between early and delayed use of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in functional and morphological recovery of the peripheral nerve. Thirty male Wistar rats were divided into three groups after the sciatic nerve was crushed: (1) control group without laser treatment, (2) early group with laser treatment started immediately after surgery and lasted 14 days, and (3) delayed group with laser treatment starting on the postoperative day 7 and lasted until day 21. A 650-nm diode laser (model: DH650-24-3(5), Huanic, China) with an output power of 25 mW exposed transcutaneously at three equidistant points on the surgical mark corresponding to the crushed nerve. The length of the laser application was calculated as 57 s to satisfy approximately 10 J/cm2. A Sciatic Functional Index (SFI) was used to evaluate functional improvement in groups at pre- and post-surgery (on days 7, 14, and 21). Compound action potential (CAP) was measured after the sacrifice and histological examination was performed for all groups. SFI results showed that there was no significant difference between groups at different days (p > 0.05). On the other hand, the latency of CAP decreased significantly (p < 0.05) in the delayed group. Histological examination confirmed that the number of mononuclear cells was lower (p < 0.05) in both early and delayed groups. In conclusion, results supported the hypothesis that LLLT could accelerate the rate of recovery of injured peripheral nerves in this animal model. Though both laser groups had positive outcomes, delayed group showed better recovery.

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