Use of low-level laser therapy on children aged 1 to 5 years with energy-protein malnutrition: A clinical trial

Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 Apr;97(17):e0538. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000010538.


Background: Episodes of malnutrition in early childhood can produces alterations in the salivary glands. The investigation of mechanisms that can reduce the impact of malnutrition on the defenses of the organism is of the utmost important and interest to public health. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of low-level laser on the saliva of children aged 1 to 5 years with energy-protein malnutrition.

Methods: Mandatory inclusion criteria are diagnosis of malnutrition. The sample will consist of 50 men and women malnourished children aged 12 to 71 months. Saliva will be collected and the volume of saliva will be measured and the salivary flow rate will be determined (mL/min). Concentrations of salivary IgA in all samples will be measured using a commercial Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) kit. Low-level laser (laser diode) will be administered in the region of the parotid glands bilaterally as well as in the regions of the submandibular and sublingual glands.

Discussion: This study will be the first that investigate the effects of local laser therapy on the salivary glands of malnourished children.

Trial registration: as NCT03355313, first received in 21 November 2017.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Child Nutrition Disorders / complications*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory / analysis
  • Infant
  • Lasers, Semiconductor / therapeutic use*
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Nutritional Status
  • Parotid Gland / radiation effects
  • Protein-Energy Malnutrition / complications*
  • Saliva / immunology
  • Saliva / metabolism
  • Saliva / radiation effects*
  • Salivary Glands / radiation effects*
  • Sublingual Gland / radiation effects
  • Submandibular Gland / radiation effects
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory

Associated data