Laser phototherapy as topical prophylaxis against radiation-induced xerostomia

Photomed Laser Surg. 2010 Jun;28(3):357-63. doi: 10.1089/pho.2009.2486.


The common consequences of radiotherapy (RT) to the head and neck are oral mucositis, xerostomia, and severe pain. The aim of this study was to verify how laser phototherapy (LPT) used for oral mucositis could influence xerostomia symptoms and hyposalivation of patients undergoing RT. Patients were divided into two groups: 12 individuals receiving three laser irradiations per week (G1) and 10 patients receiving one laser irradiation per week (G2). A diode laser (660 nm, 6 J/cm(2), 0.24 J, 40 mW) was used until completely healing of the lesions or the end of the RT. At the first and last laser sessions, whole resting and stimulated saliva were collected, and questionnaires were administered. According to Wilcoxon and Student statistical test, xerostomia for G1 was lower than for G2 (p < 0.05), and salivary flow rate was no different before and after RT, except for stimulated collection of G2, which was lower (p < 0.05). Our results suggest that LPT can be beneficial as an auxiliary therapy for hypofunction of salivary glands.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy*
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Salivation / radiation effects
  • Tongue Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Xerostomia / etiology
  • Xerostomia / prevention & control*
  • Young Adult