Phototherapy Promotes Healing of Chronic Diabetic Leg Ulcers That Failed to Respond to Other Therapies

Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 41:433–441

Debora G. Minatel, PT, PhD,1,2 Marco Andrey C. Frade, MD, PhD,3 Suzelei C. Franc¸a, PhD,1 and Chukuka S. Enwemeka, PhD, FACSM (2009) 

Objective: We tested the hypothesis that combined 660 and 890nm LED phototherapy will promote healing of diabetic ulcers that failed to respond to other forms of treatment.

Research Design and Methods: A double-blind randomized placebo controlled design was used to study 23 diabetic leg ulcers in two groups of 14 patients. Group one ulcers were cleaned, dressed with 1% silver sulfadiazine cream and treated with ‘‘placebo’’ phototherapy (<1.0Jcm2) twice per week, using a Dynatron Solaris 7051 device. Group two ulcers were treated similarly but received 3Jcm2 dose.

Results: At each of 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90 days of healing, mean ulcer granulation and healing rates were significantly higher for group two than the ‘‘placebo’’ group (P<0.02). While ‘‘placebo’’ treated ulcers worsened during the initial 30 days, group two ulcers healed rapidly; achieving 56% more granulation and 79.2% faster healing by day 30, and maintaining similarly higher rates of granulation and healing over the ‘‘placebo’’ group all through. By day 90, 58.3% of group two ulcers had healed fully and 75% had achieved 90–100% healing. In contrast, only one ‘‘placebo’’ treated ulcer healed fully by day 90; no other ulcer attained90% healing.

Conclusion: Combined 660 and 890nm light promotes rapid granulation and healing of diabetic ulcers that failed to respond to other forms of treatment.

back to top