Lasers in Medical Science

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 529–536 | Cite as

Low-level laser therapy in different stages of rheumatoid arthritis: a histological study

  • Ana Carolina Araruna Alves
  • Paulo de Tarso Camillo de Carvalho
  • Marcio Parente
  • Murilo Xavier
  • Lucio Frigo
  • Flávio Aimbire
  • Ernesto Cesar Pinto Leal JuniorEmail author
  • Regiane Albertini
Original Article


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune inflammatory disease of unknown etiology. Treatment of RA is very complex, and in the past years, some studies have investigated the use of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in treatment of RA. However, it remains unknown if LLLT can modulate early and late stages of RA. With this perspective in mind, we evaluated histological aspects of LLLT effects in different RA progression stages in the knee. It was performed a collagen-induced RA model, and 20 male Wistar rats were divided into 4 experimental groups: a non-injured and non-treated control group, a RA non-treated group, a group treated with LLLT (780 nm, 22 mW, 0.10 W/cm2, spot area of 0.214 cm2, 7.7 J/cm2, 75 s, 1.65 J per point, continuous mode) from 12th hour after collagen-induced RA, and a group treated with LLLT from 7th day after RA induction with same LLLT parameters. LLLT treatments were performed once per day. All animals were sacrificed at the 14th day from RA induction and articular tissue was collected in order to perform histological analyses related to inflammatory process. We observed that LLLT both at early and late RA progression stages significantly improved mononuclear inflammatory cells, exudate protein, medullary hemorrhage, hyperemia, necrosis, distribution of fibrocartilage, and chondroblasts and osteoblasts compared to RA group (p < 0.05). We can conclude that LLLT is able to modulate inflammatory response both in early as well as in late progression stages of RA.


Phototherapy Rheumatoid arthritis Inflammation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Carolina Araruna Alves
    • 1
  • Paulo de Tarso Camillo de Carvalho
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marcio Parente
    • 1
  • Murilo Xavier
    • 3
    • 4
  • Lucio Frigo
    • 5
  • Flávio Aimbire
    • 6
  • Ernesto Cesar Pinto Leal Junior
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Regiane Albertini
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Post Graduate Program in Rehabilitation SciencesNove de Julho University (UNINOVE)São PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Post Graduate Program in Biophotonics Applied to Health SciencesNove de Julho University (UNINOVE)São PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Biomedical Engineering CenterCamilo Castelo Branco UniversitySão José dos CamposBrazil
  4. 4.Department of Physical TherapyVale do Jequitinhonha and Mucuri Federal UniversityDiamantinaBrazil
  5. 5.Biological Sciences and Health CenterCruzeiro do Sul UniversitySão PauloBrazil
  6. 6.Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP)São José dos CamposBrazil

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