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Neurosci Lett. 2013 Oct 11;553:99-103. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2013.07.049. Epub 2013 Aug 7.

Thermal effects of transcranial near-infrared laser irradiation on rabbit cortex.

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University of California San Diego, Department of Neuroscience, 9500 Gilman Drive MTF321, La Jolla, CA 92093-0624, USA.


Transcranial near-infrared laser therapy (TLT) improves stroke outcome in animal models. Adequate laser doses are necessary to exert therapeutic effects. However, applying higher laser energy may cause cortical tissue heating and exacerbate stroke injury. The objective of this study is to examine the thermal effect and safety of transcranial near-infrared laser therapy. Diode laser with a wavelength of 808 nm was used to deliver different power densities to the brain cortex of rabbits. Cortical temperature was monitored and measured using a thermal probe during the 2 min transcranial laser irradiation. Neuro-pathological changes were examined with histological staining 24 h after laser treatment. Transcranial laser irradiation for 2 min at cortical power densities of 22.2 and 55.6 mW/cm(2) with continuous wave (CW) did not increase cortical temperature in rabbits. With the same treatment regime, cortical power density at 111.1 mW/cm(2) increased brain temperature gradually by 0.5 °C over the 2 min exposure and returned to baseline values within 1-2 min post-irradiation. Separately, histological staining was evaluated after triple laser exposure of 22.2 mW/cm(2) CW and 111.1 mW/cm(2) pulse wave (PW) and showed normal neural cell morphology. The present study demonstrated that the TLT powers currently utilized in animal stroke studies do not cause cortical tissue heating and histopathological damage.


Lower level laser therapy; Photothermal effect; Safety

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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