Effects of Phototherapy on Pressure Ulcer Healing in Elderly Patients After a Falling Trauma. A Prospective, Randomized, Controlled Study

Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2001 Feb;17(1):32-8. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0781.2001.017001032.x.


Background: The effects of infrared and red pulsed monochromatic light, with varied pulsations and wavelengths, on the healing of pressure ulcers were evaluated in this prospective, randomized, controlled study.

Methods: Elderly patients (> or =65 years) with Stage 2 or 3 skin ulcers were enrolled and assigned to one of two groups. Both groups were given the same standard ulcer therapy. One group was also given phototherapy with pulsed monochromatic infrared (956 nm) and red (637 nm) light. Treatments lasted 9 min each time using a regimen with pulse repetition frequency varied between 15.6 Hz and 8.58 kHz. Patients were followed for 10 weeks or until the ulcer was healed, whichever occurred first. The ulcer surface area was traced weekly.

Results: Patients treated with pulsed monochromatic light had a 49% higher ulcer healing rate, and a shorter time to 50% and to 90% ulcer closure compared with controls. Their mean ulcer area was reduced to 10% after 5 weeks compared with 9 weeks for the controls.

Conclusion: The results are encouraging as pulsed monochromatic light increased healing rate and shortened healing time. This will positively affect the quality of life in elderly patients with pressure ulcer.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls*
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phototherapy / methods*
  • Pressure Ulcer / therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing / physiology