Phototherapy promotes healing of chronic diabetic leg ulcers that failed to respond to other therapies

Lasers Surg Med. 2009 Aug;41(6):433-41. doi: 10.1002/lsm.20789.


Objective: We tested the hypothesis that combined 660 and 890 nm 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 (<1.0 J cm(-2)) twice per week, using a Dynatron Solaris 705(R) device. Group two ulcers were treated similarly but received 3 J cm(-2) 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 attained > or =90% healing.

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

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / pathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Granulation Tissue / pathology
  • Granulation Tissue / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Lasers, Semiconductor / therapeutic use*
  • Leg Ulcer / etiology
  • Leg Ulcer / pathology
  • Leg Ulcer / radiotherapy*
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing / radiation effects*