A Case Report of Low Intensity Laser Therapy (LILT) in the Management of Venous Ulceration: Potential Effects of Wound Debridement upon Efficacy

K Lagan, Suzanne Mc Donough, BA Clements, GD Baxter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This single case report (ABA design) was undertaken as a preliminary investigation into the clinical effects of low intensity laser upon venous ulceration, applied to wound margins only, and the potential relevance of wound debridement and wound measurement techniques to any effects observed. Methods: Ethical approval was granted by the University of Ulster's Research Ethical Committee and the patient recruited was required to attend 3 times per week for a total of 8 weeks. Treatments were carried out using single source irradiation (830 nm: 9 J/cm2, CB Medico, Copenhagen, Denmark) in conjunction with dry dressings during each visit. Assessment of wound surface area, wound appearance, and current pain were completed by an independent investigator. Planimetry and digitizing were completed for wound tracings and for photographs to quantify surface areas. Video image analysis was also performed on photographs of wounds. Results: The primary findings were changes in wound appearance, and a decrease in wound surface area (range 33.3—46.3%), dependent on the choice of measurement method. Video image analysis was used, but rejected as an accurate method of wound measurement. Treatment intervention produced a statistically significant reduction in wound area using the C statistic on digitizing data for photographs (at Phase one only; Z = 2.412; p < 0.05). Wound debridement emerged as an important procedure to be carried out prior to measuring wounds. Despite fluctuating pain levels recorded throughout the duration of the study, VAS scores showed a decrease of 15% at the end of the study. This hypoalgesic effect was, however, statistically significant (using the C statistic) at Phase one only (Z = 2.554; p < 0.05). Conclusions: Low intensity laser therapy at this dosage, and using single source irradiation would seem to be an effective treatment for patients suffering venous ulceration. Further group studies are indicated to establish the most effective therapeutic dosage for this and other types of ulceration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-22
JournalJournal of Clinical Laser Medicine & Surgery
Issue number1
Early online date23 Jan 2000
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 29 Apr 2009


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