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Laser Ther. 2014 Dec 27;23(4):243-7. doi: 10.5978/islsm.14-OR-17.

The effect of LLLT on bone metabolism in children with severe cerebral palsy (a secondary publication).

Author information

1
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Shinano Handicapped Children's Hospital.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:

It is said that the average frequency of bone fracture in hospitalized children with severe cerebral palsy (unable to remain seated) is 1% (0.2 to 2.0%). Cerebral palsy patients' bones are known to be vulnerable to fracture, and refractory bone atrophy may be observed. However, the effect of low level laser therapy (LLLT) on bone density or bone metabolism has not been fully investigated. In recent years, tests for bone density or bone metabolism markers have become available.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

In this study, we evaluated changes in bone density and bone metabolism markers in 4 children with severe cerebral palsy who underwent LLLT for an average of 22 days.

RESULTS:

B-ALP, a marker of ossification, increased 1 month after the start of irradiation in 3 of the 4 subjects and returned to a level close to the pre-irradiation level 2 months after the start of irradiation. In the remaining subjects in whom B-ALP failed to increase, B-ALP had been low before irradiation. Urinary N-terminal telopeptide (NTx) levels, a marker of bone resorption, decreased in 3 of the 4 subjects after the start of irradiation and remained low even 10 months later. Serum NTx levels tended to decrease in 3 of the 4 subjects. The levels of serum NTx/Crea, Deoxy-Pyridinoline (DPd) and DPd/Crea (DPd/Crea) also decreased in 3 of the 4 subjects. Transient decreases in intact parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels were observed in all 4 cases. Changes were particularly apparent in 2 cases: one with high NTx levels, which showed enhanced bone resorption, and one with high PTH levels, probably due to a vitamin D (VitD) deficiency. Although the metacarpal bone density measured by DIP was found to be lower than in normal children, there were no changes due to LLLT.

CONCLUSION:

These results suggest that LLLT has a positive influence on bone metabolism in that it temporarily increases bone formation and suppresses bone resorption while also tending to improve secondary hyperparathyroidism caused by VitD deficiency. Enhanced bone resorption in the case with high NTx levels was noteworthy, together with marked changes in the case with high PTH levels due to VitD deficiency. These positive influences on bone metabolism merit attention as potential new indications of LLLT.

KEYWORDS:

bone metabolism; children with severe cerebral palsy; low level laser therapy; pathological fracture

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