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Thread: LED therapy shows promise in studies

  1. #1

    LED therapy shows promise in studies

    LED therapy shows promise in studies

    San Diego-based sub used as research site

    By Jonathan Sidener

    June 23, 2003

    Researchers aboard a San Diego-based nuclear submarine are treating wounds with a healing energy from an unlikely source: light-emitting diodes, known best as the little lights that tell us when our TVs and computers are turned on.

    The military wants to know whether the technology has the potential to speed mending of battlefield injuries. LED treatments reduced recovery time by about half in a preliminary study aboard the nuclear sub Salt Lake City.

    Related research found that the specialized LEDs restored vision in laboratory rats. LEDs also have shown potential for treating mouth and gastrointestinal ulcers in chemotherapy patients.

    The studies have shown enough promise to earn further funding from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency through the San Diego-based Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command.

    The research agency's Persistence in Combat program seeks to develop medical technology that can be used in the battlefield by soldiers for self-treatment after little or no training.

    In the current study, up to 300 sick bay patients aboard the Salt Lake City will receive LED therapy. An additional 300 patients attached to a Virginia-based special operations unit will undergo the experimental treatment.

    "Because the study is ongoing, I can't talk about the actual numbers, but I can say that injuries seem to be healing much faster so far," said Dr. Harry Whelan, a neurology professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, who heads the LED research.

    In Iraq, some forces carried hand-held LED devices into combat.

    Results from those field tests will be included in the current study, he said.

    A Navy spokesman said the first round of research aboard the Salt Lake City may have been encouraging enough to attract further funding, but the study's sample was too small to be statistically significant.

    Spokesman Lt. Chris Usselman said the Navy is waiting for the results of the current research before it decides whether to endorse the technology.

    A hand-held device that beams a healing light at everything from debilitating ulcers to flesh wounds sounds like a prop from a "Star Trek" episode.

    The device even has a Trek-inspired name: the Warp 10.

    Whelan said it may strike some as a bit "out there," but it is serious science. Whelan's study on reversing blindness in rats was recently published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    The work restoring damaged rat retinas is the clearest scientific demonstration of results from the LED technology, said University of Pennsylvania biophysics professor Britton Chance, who reviewed Whelan's research for the scientific journal.

    It is not yet certain whether LEDs can treat wounds or disease in other parts of the body, Chance said.

    "It remains to be seen how generalized that effect is," he said. "We're not covered with retinal cells all over. The healing of wounds and other effects are less-well documented."

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has designated the Warp 10 as a "nonsignificant risk device," so it could be available soon to doctors if follow-up research replicates his results, Whelan said. It might first be used to treat mucositis, the ulcers from chemotherapy.

    The military is particularly interested in the work on blindness because laser weapons have been used in attempts to blind U.S. pilots.

    There are at least two suspected cases of lasers being fired at pilots. In 1998, two helicopter crewmen were apparently flashed by a laser while flying over Bosnia.

    Two years earlier, Navy pilot Lt. Jack Daly, a Poway resident, said his vision was damaged by a laser fired from a Russian ship when he was on a military helicopter.

    The LED technology also could be useful on submarines, where wounds heal slowly because of the absence of sunlight, low levels of oxygen and high levels of carbon dioxide.

    NASA is looking at LEDs as a possible way to reduce bone and muscle mass loss during long periods of weightlessness. Submarines and space shuttles of the future could carry LED blankets to bathe an entire body in healing light, Whelan said.

    The medical LEDs appear to foster a wide range of recovery through a single underlying principle, Whelan said.

    The electronic lights produce a strong, near-infrared wavelength able to reach deep into tissue to stimulate the mitochondria, the energy storehouse within a cell.

    These LEDs, more powerful than the ones used on consumer electronics, were originally designed by NASA to stimulate plant growth in space by pumping light into the vegetation.

    Whelan believes LEDs have a similar effect on human cells.

    "Many injuries and diseases involve problems getting energy to the cells," Whelan said. Strokes, eye injuries and third-degree burns all involve problems getting blood to the injured tissue, he said.

    "In eye injuries caused by lasers, a very small spot is impacted," Whelan said. "But that causes swelling, which cuts off blood supply to surrounding cells. We can prevent blindness by saving the cells that could go either way."

    In his study with rats, he induced blindness by damaging nerves and retinal cells through a high dose of methanol.

    After three LED treatments, the rats recovered 95 percent of their sight.

    Whelan envisions a device similar to a pair of goggles that soldiers would use to self-treat laser damage to their eyes.

    The researcher would like to test the technology in many other areas, including spinal cord injuries, Parkinson's disease, strokes, brain tumors and tissue and organ regeneration.

    "Ten years ago, when we started looking at this, I had no idea it would go in so many directions," he said. "It's been really exciting."

    Jonathan Sidener: (619) 293-1239;

    Copyright 2003 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.

    Eric Harness,CSCS
    Project Walkâ„¢

  2. #2
    I am very skeptical. Wise.

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Senior Member Janet McDonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Beverly Hills, Ca. 90212

    You might want to try some LED light therapy at your clinic??? Let us know if you have any positive results. I've included a couple of websites that might useful for you.


  5. #5
    Wise, Piela

    I posted this article because I read it in the newspaper this morning and thought it was interesting and seemed credible, what with DARPA funding it through SPAWAR (both highly reputable agencies).

    I do not believe these specific LEDs are available to the general public...the article leads me to believe that NASA is still the only supplier.


    I just looked at the Quantum site and it looks like they are the suppliers for the Wisconsin study.

    This may be something we could look into in the future....I think we will wait for the next study to be published.

    Eric Harness,CSCS
    Project Walkâ„¢

  6. #6
    Snowman, there are lots of ways of getting light of specific wavelengths to different parts of the body besides LEDs. Wise.

  7. #7
    I am not promoting this as a therapy, I just thought it was interesting that they were looking into using this with SCIs. However, isn't this type of therapy similar to laserpuncture?

    Wise, you state
    there are lots of ways of getting light of specific wavelengths to different parts of the body besides LEDs
    Is there a problem with LEDs in particular? Are there cheaper or more proven ways?
    Are there lots of people making bogus claims about them?

    Again, I am not promoting LEDs. I am just wondering what the issue with them is, since this is really the first I have heard about them.

    Eric Harness,CSCS
    Project Walkâ„¢

  8. #8
    snowman, I hope that I was not implying that you were beating the drums for LED therapy and was not being critical of you, just the idea.

    Several things bother me about the light therapy:

    1. In theory and in practice, people can inundate themselves with intense light of all wavelengths by lyingThere in the sun. If light of a particular wavelength really were to accelerate healing of wounds, we should see much faster healing of skin wounds in the sunshine and not covering them with bandaids, etc. Is this true?

    2. There is little rationale for the use of particular wavelengths. In fact, many of the wavelengths may have been chosen because they were available in laser form to begin with.

    3. The light shed by an LED is quite weak compared to the sunshine or a laser. If one believes all of this stuff, it suggests that very weak light is as effective as very strong light.

    In any case, this is the abstract of the paper referred to above:

    • Whelan HT, Buchmann EV, Dhokalia A, Kane MP, Whelan NT, Wong-Riley MT, Eells JT, Gould LJ, Hammamieh R, Das R and Jett M (2003). Effect of NASA light-emitting diode irradiation on molecular changes for wound healing in diabetic mice. J Clin Laser Med Surg 21:67-74. Summary: OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to assess the changes in gene expression of near-infrared light therapy in a model of impaired wound healing. Background Data: Light-Emitting Diodes (LED), originally developed for NASA plant growth experiments in space, show promise for delivering light deep into tissues of the body to promote wound healing and human tissue growth. In this paper we present the effects of LED treatment on wounds in a genetically diabetic mouse model. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Polyvinyl acetal (PVA) sponges were subcutaneously implanted in the dorsum of BKS.Cg-m +/+ Lepr(db) mice. LED treatments were given once daily, and at the sacrifice day, the sponges, incision line and skin over the sponges were harvested and used for RNA extraction. The RNA was subsequently analyzed by cDNA array. RESULTS: Our studies have revealed certain tissue regenerating genes that were significantly upregulated upon LED treatment when compared to the untreated sample. Integrins, laminin, gap junction proteins, and kinesin superfamily motor proteins are some of the genes involved during regeneration process. These are some of the genes that were identified upon gene array experiments with RNA isolated from sponges from the wound site in mouse with LED treatment. CONCLUSION: We believe that the use of NASA light-emitting diodes (LED) for light therapy will greatly enhance the natural wound healing process, and more quickly return the patient to a preinjury/illness level of activity. This work is supported and managed through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center-SBIR Program. Department of Neurology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226, USA.

  9. #9
    Here are additional papers on phototherapy treatment of wounds. Note that some of these studies are based on effects of the light on bacteria which is very interesting and reasonable.

    • Haylett AK, Higley K, Chiu M, Shackley DC and Moore JV (2002). Collagen secretion after photodynamic therapy versus scar-inducing anti-cancer modalities: an in vitro study. Photochem Photobiol Sci 1:673-7. Summary: Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has been associated anecdotally with good quality healing and an absence of scar formation. Our previous studies, examining the levels of the collagen specific molecular chaperone Hsp47, have noted differences in the response after photodynamic therapy and hyperthermia at both the transcriptional and translational levels. In the present study the levels of Hsp47 after exposure to two chemotherapeutic agents (bleomycin and mitomycin). ionising radiation, hyperthermia and haematoporphyrin ester (HpE) mediated PDT were compared in both mouse and human fibroblast cell lines. A rapid assay for soluble collagen has also been used to quantify soluble collagen levels at early time points after treatment. Peak Hsp47 levels were found to correlate well with peak collagen levels. The results show that the levels of collagen measured in vitro are elevated in modalities associated with scarring in vivo but not after HpE-PDT. Cancer Research-UK Laser Oncology Group, Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, Wilmslow Rd, Manchester, UK M20 4BX.

    • Kymplova J, Navratil L and Knizek J (2003). Contribution of phototherapy to the treatment of episiotomies. J Clin Laser Med Surg 21:35-9. Summary: OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was an objective consideration of possible benefits of phototherapy implemented with therapeutic laser or possibly polarized light in treating episiotomy, which is the most frequent obstetric intervention. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In the present study, the authors treated a total of 2,436 women. The light sources were as follows: a laser of a wave length 670 nm, power 20 mW, with continuous alternations of frequencies 10 Hz, 25 Hz, and 50 Hz, a polarized light source of a 400-2,000 nm wavelength in an interval of power 20 mW and frequency 100 Hz and a monochromatic light source of a 660 nm wavelength and power 40 mW, with simultaneous application of a magnetic field at an induction 8 mT. RESULTS: The work demonstrated high healing effects with minimum secondary complications in the treatment of episiotomies using a therapeutic laser at an energy density of 2 J/cm(2). The application of polarized light at an energy density of 5 J/cm(2) also exerted favorable therapeutic effects. Section of Radiobiology and Toxicology, Department of Radiology, University of South Bohemia, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic.

    • Medenica L and Lens M (2003). The use of polarised polychromatic non-coherent light alone as a therapy for venous leg ulceration. J Wound Care 12:37-40. Summary: OBJECTIVE: This study assessed the effectiveness of polarised, polychromatic, non-coherent light therapy in the treatment of venous leg ulcers. Investigators in previous studies have advocated the use of light as an adjunct to other proven therapies or on its own. METHOD: This was a pilot prospective case-series study. We enrolled 25 patients with venous leg ulcers. All were treated with light only. Phototherapy (light therapy) treatments were given once a day over four weeks. RESULTS: All ulcers except one (99%) had a positive value for the change in healing area at the end of the four weeks. The total number of 73 leg ulcers recorded at the beginning of the study was reduced to 51 at the end of the four weeks (p < 0.01). The decrease in wound surface area following the treatment was statistically significant [mean: 57.15%; SD: 31.87%; p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: Polarised, polychromatic light therapy applied as a monotherapy was associated with positive healing rates in patients with venous leg ulcers. It is a simple and non-invasive treatment. However, a well-designed randomised controlled study is needed to confirm the efficacy of this form of phototherapy and to objectively evaluate recommendations for its routine use in clinical practice. Institute of Dermatovenereology, Department of Dermatovenereology, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

    • Nussbaum EL, Lilge L and Mazzulli T (2002). Effects of 630-, 660-, 810-, and 905-nm laser irradiation delivering radiant exposure of 1-50 J/cm2 on three species of bacteria in vitro. J Clin Laser Med Surg 20:325-33. Summary: OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of low-intensity laser therapy (LILT) on bacterial growth in vitro. BACKGROUND DATA: LILT is undergoing investigation as a treatment for accelerating healing of open wounds. The potential of coincident effects on wound bacteria has received little attention. Increased bacterial proliferation could further delay recovery; conversely inhibition could be beneficial. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus were plated on agar and then irradiated with wavelengths of 630, 660, 810, and 905 nm (0.015 W/cm(2)) and radiant exposures of 1-50 J/cm(2). In addition, E. coli was irradiated with 810 nm at an irradiance of 0.03 W/cm(2) (1-50 J/cm(2)). Cells were counted after 20 h of incubation post LILT. Repeated measures ANOVA and Tukey adjusted post hoc tests were used for analysis. RESULTS: There were interactions between wavelength and species (p = 0.0001) and between wavelength and radiant exposure (p = 0.007) in the overall effects on bacterial growth; therefore, individual wavelengths were analyzed. Over all types of bacteria, there were overall growth effects using 810- and 630-nm lasers, with species differences at 630 nm. Effects occurred at low radiant exposures (1-20 J/cm(2)). Overall effects were marginal using 660 nm and negative at 905 nm. Inhibition of P. aeruginosa followed irradiation using 810 nm at 5 J/cm(2) (-23%; p = 0.02). Irradiation using 630 nm at 1 J/cm(2) inhibited P. aeruginosa and E. coli (-27%). Irradiation using 810 nm (0.015 W/cm(2)) increased E. coli growth, but with increased irradiance (0.03 W/cm(2)) the growth was significant (p = 0.04), reaching 30% at 20 J/cm(2) (p = 0.01). S. aureus growth increased 27% following 905-nm irradiation at 50 J/cm(2). CONCLUSION: LILT applied to wounds, delivering commonly used wavelengths and radiant exposures in the range of 1-20 J/cm(2), could produce changes in bacterial growth of considerable importance for wound healing. A wavelength of 630 nm appeared to be most commonly associated with bacterial inhibition. The findings of this study might be useful as a basis for selecting LILT for infected wounds. Rehabilitation Services, Mount Sinai Hospital and Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    • Bjerring P, Clement M, Heickendorff L, Lybecker H and Kiernan M (2002). Dermal collagen production following irradiation by dye laser and broadband light source. J Cosmet Laser Ther 4:39-43. Summary: BACKGROUND: Improvement in the appearance of wrinkles has been observed following exposure to short-pulsed 585 nm laser light. The assumed effect is a specific absorption of light in the blood vessels of the superficial dermis, resulting in release of inflammatory mediators into the interstitium followed by stimulated fibroblast activity. The fibroblasts effectively initiate tissue repair mechanisms, which include enhanced new collagen production. METHODS: Quantitative measures of collagen synthesis rate in the skin can be obtained from determinations of the aminoterminal propeptide of type III procollagen level in suction blister fluid using a radioimmunoassay. RESULTS: A single laser treatment at subpurpura energy level showed that the 585 nm laser source induced an increase of 84% (p < 0.05) in the type III procollagen production rate compared with a non-treated control site. A broadband, pulsed, white light source at 4 J/cm[2) showed no measurable increase, whilst the skin area treated with 7 J/cm[2) increased the procollagen production rate by 17% [NS, p > 0.05). A second treatment 2 weeks later further improved the laser-induced increase in procollagen production rate to 148% (p < 0.05) compared with the control site. The broadband, pulsed, white light-irradiated skin sites showed that at 4 J/cm[2) the procollagen production rate was increased by 21.4% and at 7 J/cm[2) by 32.1% compared with the corresponding non-treated control site [NS, p > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Irradiation by the haemoglobin-specific short-pulsed 585 nm laser induced a fivefold increase in procollagen production rate compared with a biologically comparable fluence delivered in a broadband spectrum. An additional treatment after 2 weeks further increased the effect of the short-pulsed 585 nm laser to 148% of the control. Vascular-specific light/tissue interactions seem to play a key role in stimulating skin collagen production. Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark.

    • Nussbaum EL, Lilge L and Mazzulli T (2002). Effects of 810 nm laser irradiation on in vitro growth of bacteria: comparison of continuous wave and frequency modulated light. Lasers Surg Med 31:343-51. Summary: BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Low intensity laser therapy may modify growth of wound bacteria, which could affect wound healing. This study compares the effects on bacteria of 810 nm laser using various delivery modes (continuous wave or frequency modulated light at 26, 292, 1000, or 3800 Hz). STUDY DESIGN/MATERIALS AND METHODS: Staphylococcus (S.) aureus, Escherichia (E.) coli, and Pseudomonas (P.) aeruginosa were plated on agar and then irradiated (0.015 W/cm(2); 1-50 J/cm(2)) or used as controls (sham irradiated); growth was examined after 20 hours of incubation post exposure. RESULTS: There were interactions of species and modulation frequency in the overall effects of irradiation (P = 0.0001), and in the radiant exposure mediated effects (P = 0.0001); thus individual frequencies and each bacterium were analysed separately. Bacteria increased following 3800 Hz (P = 0.0001) and 1000 Hz (P = 0.0001) pulsed irradiation; at particular radiant exposures P. aeruginosa proliferated significantly more than other bacteria. Pulsed laser at 292 and 26 Hz also produced species-dependent effects (P = 0.0001; P = 0.0005); however, the effects for different radiant exposures were not significant. Bacterial growth increased overall, independent of species, using continuous mode laser, significantly so at 1 J/cm(2) (P = 0.02). Analysis of individual species demonstrated that laser-mediated growth of S. aureus and E. coli was dependent on pulse frequency; for S. aureus, however, there was no effect for different radiant exposures. Further tests to examine the radiant exposure effects on E. coli showed that growth increased at a frequency of 1000 Hz (2 J/cm(2); P = 0.03). P. aeruginosa growth increased up to 192% using pulsed irradiation at 1000-3800 Hz; whereas 26-292 Hz laser produced only a growth trend. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study point to the need for wound cultures prior to laser irradiation of infected wounds. Similar investigations using other common therapeutic wavelengths are recommended. Rehabilitation Services, Mount Sinai Hospital and Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1X5, Canada.

    • Thai TP, Houghton PE, Campbell KE and Woodbury MG (2002). Ultraviolet light C in the treatment of chronic wounds with MRSA: a case study. Ostomy Wound Manage 48:52-60. Summary: The prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is rapidly increasing in healthcare facilities and spreading to the community. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus colonize the skin and open wounds and can interfere with wound healing. Recent studies have shown that ultraviolet light C can kill antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria such as methicillin-resistant S. aureus in both laboratory cultures and animal tissue. This clinical report describes the effects of ultraviolet light C on wound bioburden and closure in three people with chronic ulcers infected with methicillin-resistant S. aureus. In all three patients, ultraviolet light C treatment reduced wound bioburden and facilitated wound healing. Two patients had complete wound closure following 1 week of ultraviolet light C treatment. This case study suggests that ultraviolet light C is a promising adjunctive therapy for chronic wounds containing antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant S. aureus. School of Physical Therapy, University of Western Ontario, Elborn College, London, Ontario, N6G 1H, Canada.

    • Adili F, Scholz T, Hille M, Heckenkamp J, Barth S, Engert A and Schmitz-Rixen T (2002). Photodynamic therapy mediated induction of accelerated re-endothelialisation following injury to the arterial wall: implications for the prevention of postinterventional restenosis. Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg 24:166-75. Summary: OBJECTIVE: Accelerated re-endothelialisation may inhibit the development of restenosis. Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor (bFGF) plays a key role for early proliferative activity in the artery following injury. Therefore, this study was devised to examine the effect of photodynamic therapy (PDT) on post-injury re-endothelialisation in vivo, and bFGF-mRNA expression in endothelial cells (EC) in vitro. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Rat carotid arteries were balloon-injured prior to PDT. Arteries were analysed after 1, 3, 5, 14 and 30 days. Morphometric measurements were undertaken following injection of 0.5% Evans Blue which stains non-endothelialised surfaces only. To identify EC, immunohistochemistry (CD-31) was performed. Proliferation was assessed by fluorescence cell counting. PCR quantification of bFGF-mRNA expression and proliferation were assessed in bovine aortic EC which were plated on isolated, PDT-treated EC-derived extracellular matrix at (12), 24, 48 (72 h). RESULTS: Three days following PDT, arteries displayed significantly increased endothelial lining (p = 0.02), which was more pronounced at 5 (p = 0.03) and 14 days (p = 0.02). At 30 days no relevant differences between PDT and control were noted. EC proliferation on PDT-treated matrix was significantly increased at 24, 48, and 72 h (p = 0.0004), whereas bFGF-mRNA expression was significantly increased at 24 h only (p = 0.007). CONCLUSION: Post-injury PDT appears to accelerate re-endothelialisation. Expression of bFGF-mRNA, however, although increased shortly after PDT, may not be responsible for a constant stimulation of EC proliferation. Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt, Germany.

    • Franek A, Krol P and Kucharzewski M (2002). Does low output laser stimulation enhance the healing of crural ulceration? Some critical remarks. Med Eng Phys 24:607-15. Summary: The objective of the experiment was to evaluate the impact of laser stimulation on crural ulceration healing.Three groups were established at random from patients with crural ulceration: A, B and C. Group A included 21 patients, group B included 22 patients and group C, 22 patients. Patients in all groups were treated with pharmaceuticals and with compressive therapy. The ulcers in group A were additionally irradiated with laser light of wavelength 810 nm, so that a dose of 4 J/cm2 was applied in each procedure. Patients in group B were additionally subjected to a blind test (with placebo in the form of quasi-laser therapy).At the end of the treatment a statistically significant reduction of the area and volume of the ulcers was found in all groups. No statistically significant difference was found between the groups in terms of average rate of change per week of the relative area of ulceration and average rate of change per week of the relative volume of ulceration. Reduction of infected area was observed in all groups, but a significant change was only observed in group C.No significant impact of laser light (lambda=810 nm, P=65 mW, p=4 J/cm2) on any of the stages of ulceration healing was observed. Katedra i Zaklz.shtsls;ad Biofizyki Lekarskiej, Slaska Akademia Medyczna, ul. Medykow 18, bud. C2, 40-752, Pl, Katowice-Ligota, Poland.

    • Monstrey S, Hoeksema H, Saelens H, Depuydt K, Hamdi M, Van Landuyt K and Blondeel P (2002). A conservative approach for deep dermal burn wounds using polarised-light therapy. Br J Plast Surg 55:420-6. Summary: This article reports a clinical study investigating the role of polarised-light therapy in the conservative treatment of deep dermal burn wounds. In 22 out of 67 patients with deep dermal burn wounds, clinical evaluation revealed only a very limited potential for spontaneous healing, and, despite the fact that the majority of the surgeons (four out of six) would have recommended surgery, these patients were treated conservatively with polarised-light therapy (400-2000 nm, 40 m W cm(-2), 2.4 J cm(-2)) until complete closure. Evaluation by a panel of four surgeons, all experts in burn surgery, revealed that conservative treatment of these deep dermal wounds with polarised-light irradiation resulted in a significantly shorter healing time, with almost no hypertrophic scarring, and optimal aesthetic and functional results at long-term follow-up. No extension of the hospital stay was required. Polarised-light therapy may be a valuable way of avoiding surgery in patients with deep dermal burns. Department of Plastic Surgery, University Hospital Gent, Belgium.

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