Efficacy of ultraviolet radiation-C (254 nm) and low-intensity laser in the healing of wounds in irradiated skin

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Abstract

Radiotherapy is an integral form of treatment for cancer and is the most widely administered treatment form in India. Following irradiation, slow healing and necrosis are the clinical manifestations of permanent vascular insufficiency. Ultraviolet radiation (UVR-C) and low-intensity laser therapy (LILT; LED Cluster) were studied for their efficacy in the healing of wounds in irradiated tissue because they are known to accelerate the healing process of wounds in non-irradiated tissues. Fourteen female albino rats were the subjects of this study. All 14 animals were irradiated individually with a Cobalt source. Post-radiotherapy, all 14 animals were observed for a period of 3 months to allow subcutaneous fibrosis to develop. At the end of 3 months, an excisional, full thickness circular wound of approximately 2 cm2 was made to the irradiated tissue. In part 1 of the study, the animals belonging to the study group were treated with UVR, whereas in part 2, they were exposed to LILT until the wounds healed completely. In both study parts, the wounds of the animals belonging to the control and study groups were cleaned regularly with saline and betadine. The wounds were traced at each treatment session and the wound area was calculated in mm2 using a Hipad Digitiser. In part 1 of the study, statistical analysis implied that UVR-C did not accelerate the healing process of irradiated tissue. Rather, the lesser average healing rate of the group treated with UVR-C pointed to a delay in the healing of irradiated tissues caused by UVR-C. In part 2, the study showed no difference in the rate of healing of wounds exposed to LILT compared to the wounds that did not receive laser treatment. In conclusion, this study suggests that while use of UVR-C and LILT may not benefit post-irradiation non-healing ulcers, use of UVR-C may actually retard the healing process.

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Kanade, R. V., Vijaykumar, D. K., Cherian, T., & Uthup, B. (2002). Efficacy of ultraviolet radiation-C (254 nm) and low-intensity laser in the healing of wounds in irradiated skin. Hong Kong Physiotherapy Journal, 20(1), 6–9. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1013-7025(09)70025-9

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