Laser therapy, using a variety of different lasers, has been proposed as an adjunct therapy for venous leg ulcers. Low-level lasers have been shown to stimulate cellular function, leading to increased protein synthesis and fibroblast and macrophage proliferation.
Laser therapy for venous ulcers is the subject of a Cochrane collaborative review which included four trials.35 Two trials compared laser therapy with sham laser, and failed to detect a significant difference in healing between the groups.36,37 The results of these studies were pooled in the Cochrane review and failed to demonstrate a significant benefit of laser therapy, with a relative risk of 1-21 (CI 0-73-2-03). One study compared three types of laser therapy and found that a combination of laser and infrared light resulted in significantly more wounds being healed than using non-coherent unpolarised red light alone, with a relative risk of healing of 2-4 (CI 1-12-5-13). The study endpoint was healing after 9 months. Another very small study comparing low-level laser therapy with ultraviolet light in six patients failed to show a significant difference between the groups.
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