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Lasers Surg Med. 2012 Sep;44(7):580-7. doi: 10.1002/lsm.22060. Epub 2012 Aug 6.

The effects of low-level laser therapy in a rat model of intestinal ischemia-reperfusion injury.

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Seattle Veterinary Specialists, Kirkland, Washington 98034, USA.



To investigate the effects of low-level laser therapy applied to the serosal surface of the rat jejunum following ischemia and reperfusion.


Ninety-six male Sprague-Dawley rats were assigned to 15 groups and anesthetized. Small intestinal ischemia was induced by clamping the superior mesenteric artery for 60 minutes. A laser diode (70 mW, 650 nm) was applied to the serosal surface of the jejunum at a dose of 0.5 J/cm(2) either immediately before or following initiation of reperfusion. Animals were maintained under anesthesia and sacrificed at 0, 1, and 6 hours following reperfusion. Intestinal, lung, and liver samples were evaluated histologically.


Intestinal injury was significantly worse (P < 0.0001) in animals treated with laser and no ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) compared to sham. Intestinal injury was significantly worse in animals that underwent IRI and laser treatment at all time points compared to sham (P < 0.001). In animals that underwent IRI, those treated with laser had significantly worse intestinal injury compared to those that did not have laser treatment at 0 (P = 0.0104) and 1 (P = 0.0015) hour of reperfusion. After 6 hours of reperfusion there was no significant difference in injury between these two groups. Lung injury was significantly decreased following IRI in laser-treatment groups (P < 0.001).


At the dose and parameters used, low-level laser did not protect against intestinal IRI in the acute phase of injury. However, laser did provide protection against distant organ injury. Failure to observe a therapeutic response in the intestine may be due to inappropriate dosing parameters. Furthermore, the model was designed to detect the histologic response within the first 6 hours of injury, whereas the beneficial effects of laser, if they occur, may not be observed until the later phases of healing. The finding of secondary organ protection is important, as lung injury following IRI is a significant source of morbidity and mortality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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