Efficacy of photobiomodulation therapy on masseter thickness and oral health-related quality of life in children with spastic cerebral palsy

Lasers Med Sci. 2017 Aug;32(6):1279-1288. doi: 10.1007/s10103-017-2236-4. Epub 2017 May 23.


The study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) on bilateral masseter muscle thickness and amplitude of mouth opening in children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP), and the impact on their oral health-related quality of life (OHRQOL). Three groups were included: experimental CP group (EG: n = 26 with oral complaints), positive control CP group (PCG: n = 26 without complaints), and negative control group (NCG: n = 26 without CP). In the EG, the masseter muscles on both sides were irradiated with an infrared low-level Ga-Al-As laser (λ = 808 ± 3 nm, 120 mW) using a 3 J/cm2 energy dose per site, with a 20 s exposure time per site (spot area: 4 mm2; irradiance: 3 W/cm2; energy delivery per point: 2.4 J) six times over six consecutive weeks. Masseter thickness, assessed through ultrasonography, and the amplitude of mouth opening were measured in the EG before and after six applications of PBMT and once in the PCG and NCG. The Parental-Caregiver Perception Questionnaire (P-CPQ) was used to evaluate OHRQOL. ANOVA, chi-square, t tests, and multilevel linear regression were used for statistical analysis. In the EG, the study results revealed average increments of 0.77 (0.08) millimeter in masseter thickness (P < 0.05) and 7.39 (0.58) millimeter for mouth opening (P < 0.05) and reduction in all P-CPQ domains (P < 0.001), except for social well-being. The six applications of PBMT increased masseter thickness and mouth opening amplitude and reduced the impact of spastic CP on OHRQOL.

Keywords: Cerebral palsy; Low-level laser therapy; Masseter muscle; Photobiomodulation therapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cerebral Palsy / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Palsy / radiotherapy*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Masseter Muscle / diagnostic imaging
  • Masseter Muscle / pathology*
  • Masseter Muscle / radiation effects*
  • Oral Health*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires