Effects of low-level laser therapy and platelet concentrate on bone repair: Histological, histomorphometric, immunohistochemical, and radiographic study

J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 2017 Nov;45(11):1846-1853. doi: 10.1016/j.jcms.2017.08.008. Epub 2017 Aug 19.


Purpose: Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) can increase bone metabolism, cell proliferation, and maturation, and reduce inflammation, while platelet concentrate (PC) assists bone healing process by releasing proteins and growth factors. Here, we evaluated the efficacy of combined LLLT and PC therapy in the healing of critical-size bone defects.

Materials and methods: Calvarial critical-size defects 5 mm in diameter were made in 48 Wistar rats. Bones were removed, milled, and used as autogenous bone grafts. Animals were randomized into four groups: LP (LLLT + PC), PC, L (LLLT), and C (control, autogenous graft only). Animals were sacrificed at day 30 and 60 post-surgery. Specimens were submitted to radiographic (digital and conventional), histological, histomorphometric, and immunohistochemical analyses.

Results: Digital radiography was shown to be a better image analysis method compared with conventional radiography. Histological analysis demonstrated a significant difference in bone formation between animals in group L (p = 0.049) at day 60 than in other groups. Higher rates of inflammatory infiltrates and fibrosis were observed in the LP and PC groups at days 30 and 60, whereas the groups not receiving PC showed a higher rate of bone maturity. The inflammatory processes were reduced in the animals in the L group, together with new bone formation and maturation. Groups L and C had higher scores of positive osteocalcin immunostaining in bone and extracellular matrix.

Conclusions: LLLT reduces inflammation and contributes to increased bone formation. PC treatment was shown to maintain connective tissue and to induce fibrosis during bone repair. Combined LLLT and PC treatment did not improve bone repair.

Keywords: Bone repair; Low-level laser therapy; Platelet concentrate; Platelet rich plasma; Radiography.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fibrosis
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Male
  • Osseointegration / radiation effects
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Radiography
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Skull / diagnostic imaging
  • Skull / pathology
  • Skull / physiology*
  • Skull / surgery*
  • Wound Healing / radiation effects*