Influence of low-level laser therapy on wound healing in nicotine-treated animals.
ABSTRACT Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has been shown to have several biological effects that favor the healing process, and nicotine has been shown to delay the healing process. In this study we investigated the healing of open wounds created on the back of rats treated with nicotine with or without LLLT. Of 115 animals, 59 received subcutaneous injections of saline solution, and the others received subcutaneous injections of nicotine (3 mg/kg body weight), twice a day throughout the study period. After 30 days, skin wounds were created on the back of the animals. The animals receiving saline injections were divided into two groups: group 1 (G1, n = 29), in which the wounds were left untreated, and group 2 (G2, n = 30), in which the wounds were treated with LLLT (GaAlAs, 660 nm, 30 mW, 5.57 J/cm(2) per point, 0.39 J, 13 s per point, 0.42 W/cm(2)). The animals receiving nicotine injections were also divided into two groups: group 3 (G3, n = 29), in which the wounds were left untreated, and group 4 (G4, n = 27), in which the wounds were treated with LLLT. The animals were killed 3, 7 or 14 days after surgery. Wound healing was evaluated histologically both qualitatively and semiquantitatively. Wounds of G2 showed a delay in epithelial migration and connective tissue organization compared to those of G1. Wounds of G2 showed faster healing than those of G1; similarly, wounds of G4 showed more advanced healing than those of G3. LLLT acted as a biostimulatory coadjuvant agent balancing the undesirable effects of nicotine on wound tissue healing.