Evidence of changes in sural nerve conduction mediated by light emitting diode irradiation

Abstract

The introduction of light emitting diode (LED) devices as a novel treatment for pain relief in place of low-level laser warrants fundamental research on the effect of LED devices on one of the potential explanatory mechanisms: peripheral neurophysiology in vivo. A randomised controlled study was conducted by measuring antidromic nerve conduction on the peripheral sural nerve of healthy subjects (n=64). One baseline measurement and five post-irradiation recordings (2-min interval each) were performed of the nerve conduction velocity (NCV) and negative peak latency (NPL). Interventional set-up was identical for all subjects, but the experimental group (=32) received an irradiation (2 min at a continuous power output of 160 mW, resulting in a radiant exposure of 1.07 J/cm2) with an infrared LED device (BIO-DIO preprototype; MDB-Laser, Belgium), while the placebo group was treated by sham irradiation. Statistical analysis (general regression nodel for repeated measures) of NCV and NPL difference scores, revealed a significant interactive effect for both NCV (P=0.003) and NPL (P=0.006). Further post hoc LSD analysis showed a time-related statistical significant decreased NCV and an increased NPL in the experimental group and a statistical significant difference between placebo and experimental group at various points of time. Based on these results, it can be concluded that LED irradiation, applied to intact skin at the described irradiation parameters, produces an immediate and localized effect upon conduction characteristics in underlying nerves. Therefore, the outcome of this in vivo experiment yields a potential explanation for pain relief induced by LED.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

References

  1. 1.

    Vinck EM, Cagnie BJ, Cornelissen MJ, Declercq HA, Cambier DC (2003) Increased fibroblast proliferation induced by light emitting diode and low power laser irradiation. Laser Med Sci 18(2):95–99

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Vinck E, Cagnie B, Cornelissen M, Declercq H, Cambier D (2005) Green light emitting diode irradiation enhances fibroblast growth impaired by high glucose level. J Photomed Laser Surg (in press)

  3. 3.

    Pontinen PJ, Aaltokallio T, Kolari PJ (1996) Comparative effects of exposure to different light sources (He–Ne laser, InGaAl diode laser, a specific type of noncoherent LED) on skin blood flow for the head. Acupunct Electrother Res 21(2):105–118

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Lowe AS, Walker MD, O’Byrne M, Baxter GD, Hirst DG (1998) Effect of low intensity monochromatic light therapy (890 nm) on a radiation-impaired, wound-healing model in murine skin. Laser Surg Med 23(5):291–298

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Whelan H, Houle J, Whelan N, Donohoe D, Cwiklinski J, Schmidt M et al. (2000) The NASA light-emitting diode medical program—progress in space flight terrestrial applications. Space technology and applications international forum, pp 37–43

  6. 6.

    Vinck E, Cagnie B, Cambier D, Cornelissen M (2001) Does infrared light emitting diodes have a stimulatory effect on wound healing? From an in vitro trial to a patient treatment. Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging 3(28 Proceedings of SPIE 4903), pp 156–165

  7. 7.

    Bromm B, Lorenz J (1998) Neurophysiological evaluation of pain. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 107(4):227–253

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Baxter G, Walsh D, Allen J, Lowe A, Bell A (1994) Effects of low intensity infrared laser irradiation upon conduction in the human median nerve in vivo. Exp Physiol 79:227–234

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Lowe AS, Baxter GD, Walsh DM, Allen JM (1994) Effect of low intensity laser (830 nm) irradiation on skin temperature and antidromic conduction latencies in the human median nerve: relevance of radiant exposure. Laser Surg Med 14(1):40–46

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Walsh D, Baxter G, Allen J (2000) Lack of effect of pulsed low-intensity infrared (820 nm) laser irradiation on nerve conduction in the human superficial radial nerve. Laser Surg Med 26(5):485–490

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Greathouse DG, Currier DP, Gilmore RL (1985) Effects of clinical infrared laser on superficial radial nerve conduction. Phys Ther 65(8):1184–1187

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Snyder-Mackler L, Bork CE (1988) Effect of helium–neon laser irradiation on peripheral sensory nerve latency. Phys Ther 68(2):223–225

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Basford JR, Daube JR, Hallman HO, Millard TL, Moyer SK (1990) Does low-intensity helium–neon laser irradiation alter sensory nerve active potentials or distal latencies? Laser Surg Med 10(1):35–39

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Oh SJ (1993) Clinical electromyography: nerve conduction studies. Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Noble J, Lowe A, Baxter G (2001) Monochromatic infrared irradiation (890 nm): effect of a multisource array upon conduction in the human median nerve. J Clin Laser Med Surg 19(6):291–295

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Walker JB, Akhanjee LK (1985) Laser-induced somatosensory evoked potentials: evidence of photosensitivity in peripheral nerves. Brain Res 344(2):281–285

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Basford JR, Hallman HO, Matsumoto JY, Moyer SK, Buss JM, Baxter GD (1993) Effects of 830 nm continuous wave laser diode irradiation on median nerve function in normal subjects. Laser Surg Med 13(6):597–604

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Cambier D, Blom K, Witvrouw E, Ollevier G, De Muynck M, Vanderstraeten G (2000) The influence of low intensity infrared laser irradiation on conduction characteristics of peripheral nerve: a randomised, controlled, double blind study on the sural nerve. Laser Med Sci 15:195–200

    Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Aydin G, Keles I, Demir SO, Baysal AI (2004) Sensitivity of median sensory nerve conduction tests in digital branches for the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome. Am J Phys Med Rehab 83(1):17–21

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    National Institutes of Health. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (1998) Clinical guidelines on the identification, evaluation, and treatment of overweight and obesity in adults: the evidence report. NIH publication, no. 98–4083

  21. 21.

    DeLisa J, MacKenzie K, Baran E (1987) Manual of nerve conduction velocity and somatosensory evoked potentials. Raven Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Baxter GD, Allen JM, Bell AJ (1991) The effect of low-energy-density laser irradiation upon human median nerve-conduction latencies. J Physiol Lond 435:P63

    Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Geerlings A, Mechelse K (1985) Temperature and nerve conduction velocity, some practical problems. Electromyogr Clin Neurophysiol 25(4):253–259

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    D’Haese M, Blonde W (1985) The effect of skin temperature on the conductivity of the sural nerve. Acta Belg Med Phys 8(1):47–49

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Halar E, DeLisa J, Brozovich F (1980) Nerve conduction velocity: relationship of skin, subcutaneous and intramuscular temperatures. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 61(5):199–203

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Bolton CF, Sawa GM, Carter K (1981) The effects of temperature on human compound action-potentials. J Neurol Neurosur Psychiatry 44(5):407–413

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Hlavova A, Abramson D, Rickert B, Talso J (1970) Temperature effects on duration and amplitude of distal median nerve action potential. J Appl Physiol 28(6):808–812

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Lowe AS, Baxter GD, Walsh DM, Allen JM (1995) The relevance of pulse repetition rate and radiant exposure to the neurophysiological effects of low-intensity laser (820 nm/pulsed wave) irradiation upon skin temperature and antidromic conduction latencies in the human median nerve. Laser Med Sci 10(4):253–259

    Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Baxter GD, Allen JM, Walsh DM, Bell AJ, Ravey J (1992) Localization of the effect of low-energy laser irradiation upon conduction latencies in the human median nerve in vivo. J Physiol Lond 446:P445

    Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Truini A, Romaniello A, Galeotti F, Iannetti GD, Cruccu G (2004) Laser evoked potentials for assessing sensory neuropathy in human patients. Neurosci Lett 361(1–3):25–28

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    Bentley DE, Watson A, Treede RD, Barrett G, Youell PD, Kulkarni B et al. (2004) Differential effects on the laser evoked potential of selectively attending to pain localisation versus pain unpleasantness. Clin Neurophysiol 115(8):1846–1856

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The authors gratefully acknowledge Dr. S. Rimbaut for explaining the handling of the equipment and MDB-Laser Belgium for generously providing the Light Emitting Diode equipment.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Elke Vinck.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Vinck, E., Coorevits, P., Cagnie, B. et al. Evidence of changes in sural nerve conduction mediated by light emitting diode irradiation. Lasers Med Sci 20, 35–40 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10103-005-0333-2

Download citation

Keywords

  • Light emitting diodes
  • Sural nerve
  • Conduction velocity
  • Negative peak latency
  • Analgesic effect