Effect of 810 nm Near-Infrared Laser on Revascularization of Ischemic Flaps in Rats

Photomed Laser Surg. 2018 Jun;36(6):290-297. doi: 10.1089/pho.2017.4360.


Objective: To investigate the effect of 810 nm near-infrared (NIR) laser on the revascularization of ischemic flaps.

Background: It has long been proved that photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) improves the blood supply of flaps. NIR laser improves the treatment of hypodermis-located lesions and of flap survival, but basic research on the use of 810 nm NIR laser for ischemic flap revascularization is still lacking.

Materials and methods: We prepared two symmetrical long random-pattern flaps on the backs of 60 rats. Each flap was 6 cm long, 1 cm wide, and 1 cm to the middle line. The flaps were divided into an irradiated flap group and an internal control group. The irradiated flaps underwent postoperative 810 nm laser therapy with the energy density of 11.30 J/cm2 daily. The control flaps were covered by stainless steel to avoid laser irradiation. We observed the viability of the flaps. The flaps underwent Hematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) staining for the observation of histomorphology, immunohistochemical staining of factor VIII for the capillary count, α-smooth muscle actin for the small arterial count, and vascular endothelial growth factor for the integrated optical density (OD) of the positive stained color.

Results: The irradiated flaps showed significantly better flap survival than the control flaps. H&E staining showed that the irradiated flaps had clear tissue structure and little inflammatory cell infiltration. The control flaps demonstrated comparatively worse results. Vascular endothelial growth factor staining showed that the difference in integrated OD between the irradiated flaps and the control flaps was not statistically significant. α-smooth muscle actin and factor VIII staining showed significantly greater numbers of arterioles and capillaries in the irradiated flaps than the control flaps after 4 days of irradiation.

Conclusions: PBMT with 810 nm NIR laser could enhance ischemic flap revascularization and increase flap viability.

Keywords: 810 nm; ischemic flap; near-infrared laser; revascularization.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ischemia / radiotherapy*
  • Lasers, Semiconductor / therapeutic use*
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Surgical Flaps / blood supply*