Efficacy of 780-nm laser phototherapy on peripheral nerve regeneration after neurotube reconstruction procedure (double-blind randomized study)

Photomed Laser Surg. 2007 Jun;25(3):137-43. doi: 10.1089/pho.2007.2076.


Objective: This pilot double-blind randomized study evaluated the efficacy of 780-nm laser phototherapy on the acceleration of axonal growth and regeneration after peripheral nerve reconstruction by polyglycolic acid (PGA) neurotube.

Background data: The use of a guiding tube for the reconstruction of segmental loss of injured peripheral nerve has some advantages over the regular nerve grafting procedure. Experimental studies have shown that laser phototherapy is effective in influencing nerve regeneration.

Methods: The right sciatic nerve was transected, and a 0.5-cm nerve segment was removed in 20 rats. A neurotube was placed between the proximal and the distal parts of the nerve for reconnection of nerve defect. Ten of 20 rats received post-operative, transcutaneous, 200-mW, 780-nm laser irradiation for 14 consecutive days to the corresponding segments of the spinal cord (15 min) and to the reconstructed nerve (15 min).

Results: At 3 months after surgery, positive somato-sensory evoked responses were found in 70% of the irradiated rats (p = 0.015), compared to 30% of the non-irradiated rats. The Sciatic Functional Index in the irradiated group was higher than in the non-irradiated group (p < 0.05). Morphologically, the nerves were completely reconnected in both groups, but the laser-treated group showed an increased total number of myelinated axons.

Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that postoperative 780-nm laser phototherapy enhances the regenerative process of the peripheral nerve after reconnection of the nerve defect using a PGA neurotube.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Male
  • Nerve Regeneration / radiation effects*
  • Peripheral Nerves / physiology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Polyglycolic Acid
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sciatic Nerve / pathology


  • Polyglycolic Acid