PURPOSE: To determine the influence of low-level laser therapy on femoral growth plate in rats. METHODS: Thirty male Wistar rats aged 40 days were divided into two groups, G1 and G2. In G1 the area of the distal growth plate of the right femur was irradiated at one point using GaAlAs laser 830 nm wavelength, output power of 40 mW, at an energy density of 10 J/cm². The irradiation was performed daily for a maximum of 21 days. The same procedure was done in G2, but the probe was turned off. Five animals in each group were euthanized on days 7, 14 and 21 and submitted to histomorphometric analysis. RESULTS: In both groups the growth plate was radiographically visible at all moments from both craniocaudal and mediolateral views. On the 21st day percentage of femoral longitudinal length was higher in G2 than G1 compared to basal value while hypertrophic zone chondrocyte numbers were higher in G1 than G2. Calcified cartilage zone was greater in G1 than in G2 at all evaluation moments. Angiogenesis was higher in G1 than in G2 at 14th and 21st days. CONCLUSION: The low-level laser therapy negatively influenced the distal femoral growth plate.
Lasers; Bone Development; Chondrocytes; Laser Therapy, Low-Level; Rats